KATY, TX (KTRK) -- A local church is getting a big response from the community after thieves broke in, tore open Christmas presents and stole what they wanted.
Church of the Holy Apostles lead pastor Darrel Proffitt was the first one in the door today, and he immediately knew something was wrong. It looked like the living room floor on Christmas morning in one room, in another shattered glass, down the hall there were ransacked offices, including his own.
"Piles of Christmas wrapping paper, bags, gifts partially opened, others totally opened. I knew there was a real problem," said the pastor.
He says a thief or thieves broke through a window and then used some kind of tool to open several doors. One room was full of gifts donated for families in need from the giving tree in their own congregation.
"My heart really goes out to a person or persons who would consider this is an option. Because all they had to do is to come and we'd help them," Proffitt said.
Now, the community is helping the church. Families are responding like little elves.
The Ross family brought bags of toys to replace some of the stolen gifts. "I was just thinking who would do that, who would take all those toys from needs children," said 13-year-old Brady.
"Just to be able to come out here and buy toys and bring it to people who are in need after the toys were taken away, it makes me feel really good to be able to do that for some people," added older brother Brennan.
Shane Ross, the boys' father, added, "When we heard it today, I think we were all disappointed, so we wanted to make sure the kids were taken care of."
The pastor said the families in need will all have a great Christmas:
"I don't feel like justice has to be done, I feel like mercy has to be shared. They need to know about the love of God and his forgiveness and I would love to be able to share that with them. And know there is a different way than to steal gifts that are to help people in need."
If you'd like to chip in, visit the COTHA website.