Officials with the Maryland Book Bank are raising money through GoFundMe to replace a van after officials say it was stolen from their Baltimore warehouse last week.
The nonprofit organization, which helps raise youth literacy by offering donated books to children for free across the state, reported that one of its cargo vans was stolen from its Baltimore warehouse July 23.
Program manager Kim Crout said a Light Rail worker reported seeing the van leave the warehouse at 1:15 a.m. and that there have been sightings since.
But she added the fact that it is a van that travels in the community quite often — operating five days a week to do bulk-mail pickups and pick up donated books — makes finding it difficult because people expect to see it in their neighborhoods on a regular basis.
“We would love to have our van back,” she said. “But at this point, we just need something comparable.”
She added that the van does bulk-mail pickups on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the organization, which sells adult fiction and nonfiction books through Amazon to support their donations business.
With the van gone, she said, staff have taken turns using personal cars.
The organization is looking to raise $40,000. Crout said the van that was stolen was from 2004 and that the organization received only $1,000 in insurance to recoup its loss.
The organization is still committed to its goal is distributing more than 400,000 books throughout the state this year, Crout said.