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Well-known charity targeted by vandals

NEW CANEY, Texas – A well-known charity serving people with special needs was hit by vandals, who destroyed a van crucial to the operation.

The van belongs to the New Horizons Lone Star Gallery in New Caney and was vandalized sometime Friday night.

“What we have is something that was destroyed for no reason. You gained nothing,” said New Horizons Director Darbie Lindsey.

The van was parked behind the nonprofit’s resale shop off Highway 59. The damage wasn’t discovered until Saturday morning.

“The steering column, the ignition; they pulled out the paneling and ripped out things like the radio and A/C vents and things,” Lindsey said. “I think it was a case of, 'Can we?'”

Lindsey said what is most perplexing is nothing was taken from the van. The vandals also rummaged around the property but, again, stole nothing.

“How important is that van to the operation?” asked KPRC’s Robert Arnold.

“Incredibly, incredibly,” Lindsey said.

The New Horizons shop employs people with special needs, who work hard at sorting donations, stocking shelves, cleaning and a little light repair work. The shop depends on donations, very few of which are dropped off. The van was crucial to an operation that relies on donations.

“We are able to go and pick up those donations. It's the livelihood of our facility and now that's not an option for us,” Lindsey said.

While it was kept in good shape, that van is nearly 20 years old. Lindsey said insurance won't cover the cost of replacing the vehicle.

“Now we're looking at how the funding works. How do we get this van replaced? It's a necessity,” Lindsey said.

New Horizons has a second van, but that is used for transportation on field trips and to help patrons get to and from their homes. Lindsey said someone tried to break the gas tank cover off that van.

Lindsey said to the vandals, the van was just something to do, but to New Horizons, it was an integral part of an operation that serves many people.

“Do you understand your actions go against a population that is so deserving of the generosity and the kindness the community can offer?” Lindsey said.

If you know anything about this crime, please call the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. If you would like to help New Horizons, go to www.newhorizons-nc.org.