Barbara McNeely of Hidden Miracles Ministry is seeking help from the community in locating the ministry’s white, 12-foot enclosed utility trailer which was stolen Friday, Jan. 18.

The trailer, used for storing and transporting therapy equipment, supplies and toys, was stolen while at a volunteer’s house.

“One of our volunteers was preparing to paint the ministry’s logo on the side of the trailer but never got a chance to do so,” McNeely said, saying the trailer would have been more identifiable with the logo painted on it.

“She (the volunteer) didn’t notice the trailer was gone until Friday and she thought my husband or I had picked it up for Respite Night. She sent me an e-mail about the trailer and I e-mailed her back to let her know that we didn’t have the trailer. It took us until Tuesday to realize that no one had the trailer so we filed a police report on it Wednesday,” McNeely added

The estimated cost of everything stolen ranges close to $8,000, with the trailer priced at about $2,500 and about $5,500 of therapy equipment, supplies and toys including therapy balls, therapy swings, exercise pads, tactile therapy toys and equipment; weighted therapy blankets, buckets of children toys, therapy strider, food supplies, two electronic keyboards and several other items, McNeely said.

“We were definitely cleaned out … everything we worked so hard for was taken away,” she said, noting the ministry started four years ago only with her son’s bucket of toys.

“It took us four years to get started and probably took four minutes for someone to take it all away,” she continued. “The person who did this probably thought he was getting motor bikes and lawn mowers but instead he got a trailer full of kids hopes and dreams. It’s a shame that someone had to do this and the stuff that was taken is not going to do them any good because the equipment is designed for special needs children.”

Away from all the concrete items that were stolen, McNeely said she is pleased that no personal documents were present.

“All personal files were actually at home so there has not been a leak of anyone’s personal information,which is a blessing,” she said.

The equipment, supplies and toys were used for Respite Night, which is a chance for the parents and caregivers of special needs children to have a night out.

“We have Respite Night at the Cowboy Church of Ellis County from 4-7:30 p.m., the first Saturday of each month and we will continue to have it,” McNeely said. “We can’t take that away from these families because it is too important to them. It’s going to be hard to entertain the children without all the toys and and equipment they’re expecting to have and because we’re in the midst of a fundraiser, we don’t have any funds. Our next respite night is Feb. 2 and it’s going to be tough but all we can do is persevere and keep going.”

McNeely said the church is being very supportive during their time of struggle.

“The church is being extremely supportive and they are helping us in every way possible and we can’t thank them enough but we still need to reach into the community for help,” she said, saying she feels that the chance to recover any of the items is really slim. “We have to ask for help so we can get these items replaced and continue to have Respite Night for these families.

“The church is going to help us faciliate anyone who wants to donate equipment or funds to help us replace some of the items," she continued, noting all donations are tax-deductible.

Through it all, McNeely said she is confident that God will lift the heavy burden of feeling helpless.

“It took a lot of generosity of a lot of people to get the equipment, supplies and toys and to lose it is a devastating blow to us, but we know that God will work for the good through this,” she said. “Maybe this would help people become more involved in Hidden Miracles or at least more people will hear about it.”

Anyone interested in donating is asked to contact the church at 972-935-9801 or McNeely at 972-937-6255.

Anyone with information on the stolen items is asked to contact the Waxahachie Police Department at 972-937-9940.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@wninews.com