Business gives church free repairs after string of break-ins

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The St. Peter Claver Catholic Church feeds hundreds of people, especially on Fridays during Lent.

When their building was damaged and their property was stolen, it was like the thief literally took the dollar bills right out of the pockets of those who needed it most.

One phone call is giving back the people of the church something you can't put a price tag on.

During Lent, parish hall is packed. Catfish, green beans and cake made possible by parishioners like Roland Charles, who donates his time to feed the community.

"The guy that broke in pretty much hauled all of it off," Charles said. "Everyone donates out of their pockets, and he comes in and takes it all."

Breaking one of the Ten Commandments is a man, caught on surveillance video breaking into the hall, causing damage and stealing whatever he wanted. The church is now scrambling to make up the $15,000 lost.

"After it was aired on Channel 13, thank God. One gentleman called," Father Kenneth Howard said.

Jerry Hernandez made that phone call.

"You've got to pay it forward no matter what," said Hernandez, who owns Everstall Installations Inc. He is offering free labor and his company's time to fix the damage that was done.

"He needs something in the interior of the church to keep them from breaking in, and also the exterior doors of the facilities needs to be repaired, and I said, 'Well, let us take a look at it,'" Hernandez said .

Fixing the damage and restoring faith is something Father Howard says you can't put a price tag on.

"It puts a smile on my face once again," Howard said.

A second company also reached out to the church offering to help.

Father Howard says during the season of Lent that's two great examples of sacrifice. Police are still looking for the suspect.

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