The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 20, 2013

Donors replace Haven Nativity

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— SUNBURY - Valley residents should be extremely proud of themselves because after The Daily Item published a story about a Christmas Nativity scene being stolen from a city homeless shelter, less than eight hours later, they had one.

“I could cry,” Pam Steffen, executive director of Haven Ministries said Wednesday. “I can’t thank the newspaper and our Valley residents enough.”

Steffen reported on Tuesday police are looking for the thief who entered a storage shed at a the city shelter and stole a three-piece nativity scene, residents became outraged, she said.

“I don’t know what time people read the newspaper but before I got in to work at 8 a.m. I had already received calls,” she said. “By mid morning we had an anonymous person donate $300 to purchase a new one.”

The 4 ½-foot-tall Joseph and Mary, and baby Jesus, manger and all the lighting were removed from a loft inside the storage shed sometime between August and Tuesday. The storage unit is always unlocked for individuals to drop off clothes and food after hours.

“After I received the call from the anonymous local couple who asked me to find a replacement Nativity, I  found one, but for more than the couple had offered,” Steffen said. “My Board of Directors instructed me that Haven would pick up the rest of the money and I left a message to that effect to the couple. They telephoned again and are now dropping off a check for the entire $300.”

Steffen said she invites the public to view the new Nativity scene.

“It will be here by Thanksgiving,” she said. “I hope everyone comes and checks it out.”

Anyone with information about the stolen Nativity scene is asked to call Sunbury police at (570) 286-4584.

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