500+ charity dresses stolen from Marion Co church group - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

500+ charity dresses stolen from Marion Co church group

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - A group of local women spent several months working tirelessly to sew dresses for Filipino kids devastated by a typhoon, but just before they were to be delivered a thief got away with the whole load.  Now the Marion County church group is hoping the dresses somehow turn up.    

A group of women at Crossroads Baptist Church in Whitwell worked for months to sew more than 500 dresses to donate to the Philippines through the charity Samaritan's Purse, which is head-quartered in North Carolina. The  woman delivering them to North Carolina to be shipped off was shocked and heartbroken when the vehicle carrying them was stolen.

"We just thought it might make a little girl happy to have a new dress," church member Kathy Holloway said.

Those dresses come from the hearts and the hands of women at Crossroads Baptist Church in Whitwell. From their hands, meant to be worn by those hit by the deadliest typhoon to ever strike the Philippines last November. The project leader is 82 year old church member Joy Tripp.

"She would get up and that's the first thing she'd do in the morning. She would start sewing," church member Susan Beget said.

She was proudly taking them to a charity in North Carolina, stopping along the way at her daughter's home in South Carolina. Monday the two went to a mall in Pineville. When they came out, the SUV full of dresses was gone.

"Mom called me crying yesterday and my heart just went out to her," Beget said.

"First thing through my head was I cannot believe this and then my next thought was God what are you doing," church member Molly Layne said.

Their hope is that the thief dumped the dresses somewhere and a good Samaritan will find them.

"We're just going to pray and ask God to send them back," Layne said.

"God is in control and He's going to work it out some way," Holloway said.

They say if the dresses weren't meant to make it to the Philippines, they'll just start all over from scratch.

"We can do it again. If we have to, we can do it again," Layne said.

The Pineville, North Carolina Police Department is investigating, but says they don't have any suspect leads at this time. The boxes holding the dresses did have the church's contact information on them.

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