NEW HAVEN, W.Va. — The Bend Area is rallying around a young mother-to-be who was the victim of a home burglary over the weekend.
Kathryn Bland, who lives on Butler Street in New Haven, was working a 24-hour home health shift Friday. When she returned home on Saturday evening, she found many of her possessions, as well as Christmas gifts she had purchased for others, gone.
Bland said the burglars took baby clothes she had purchased for her daughter, who is due next month. A television, sentimental jewelry, and even toiletries, down to a roll of toilet paper, were all gone.
But since the crime happened, Bland said many people have stepped up to help her.
“Right now, a lot of people have been giving me baby clothes,” Bland said. “It’s very overwhelming and I am very grateful.”
The folks at Thompson’s Hardware in New Haven heard about the story, and with Bland’s permission, are accepting donations there to help Bland replace some of her other items.
“I saw the story on the news and saw how hard she worked,” said Mendy Thompson. “I just thought, ‘What if that was my kid?”
She continued, “It’s unreal this day and age that people can just come in and take what they want with no regard for people’s feelings.”
Thompson said she doesn’t know Bland, but contacted her through friends on Facebook.
Bland said she had worked 70 to 80 hours a week in October to be able to afford to buy Christmas gifts for her family.
“I never thought I would need this help,” she said. “I live alone and this has made it a lot harder on me. People are being very generous though.”
No matter how much the people give Bland, however, there is one thing that was taken that can never be replaced.
“They took my mom’s necklace that my great-grandmother gave her, and I was going to pass it down to my daughter,” Bland said.
Her mother passed away from cancer in 2012. Bland said she is holding onto the hope that it will be found.
Donations are being accepted at the hardware store, located at 405 Fifth St. in New Haven, through Dec. 16.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.