'You don't have to live that way': Seattle thrift store recovering from back-to-back burglaries

A community-run thrift store is recovering from thousands worth in stolen goods after being burglarized twice in two days. 

The beloved Seattle store serves thousands of at-risk children. Now they aren't sure how they will recover while the need for assistance is greater during the coronavirus pandemic.

"When you first walk into our store, we have a menswear section, so shirts, pants shoes, great prices, things you might need," said Kim Wakefield. 

Wakefield is the Assistance League of Seattle thrift store manager. She doesn't earn a penny for her work and still does it with a smile.

"'I have a wedding this weekend and I need a nice jacket,' so we can help you with that. Or 'I'm in town and I'm cold I need a jacket,'" she said.

RELATED: Two burglars steal from deceased couple's Spanaway home

The revenue from volunteer-run Wallingford store helps clothe and feed 3,500 children. Her heart is in this, so when the store was burglarized twice this week, it hit hard.

"This robbery probably set us back probably $2,000; that’s 15-20 kids that we would serve," said Wakefield. "Every kid counts. 15 kids is 15 kids. So we take this very seriously. It takes us a long time to earn $2,000 and it doesn’t come easy."

She said the thieves stole some keys the first night but returned the next night to take more.

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"That’s when we found out they stole the cash register, our Square, and a lot of jewelry," she told Q13 News.

After the burglaries, the store then boarded up the broken window and placed a handwritten sign on it that reads, "You are stealing from the 3,500 hundred kids we clothe and feed."

Wakefield also has this message for the person who stole from them.

"You needed something, we know that. We’re here, reach out. You don’t have to live that way. You don’t have to steal to provide for yourself. Ask for help," said Wakefield.

To learn more about the Assistance League of Seattle and how to help, visit their website here.