Vandals damage Eagle Scout's work at Galveston non-profit

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Saint Vincent's House in Galveston is known for doing a lot of good. The non-profit has a food pantry, a clinic and lots of resources to help people get on their feet.

"We thank God now that after 64 years, St. Vincent's doors are still open. We're still doing what we do," said Derrell Smith, the facilities manager for St. Vincent's House.

Derrell Smith has been maintaining the buildings at St. Vincent since 2009, but one building wasn't used. It is called the Treehouse.

"We weren't using it at all. There was a ratty old rug on the floor," said Bonnie Farmer, the president of the board of directors for St. Vincent's House.

Then an Eagle Scout in search of a project started talking to Bonnie Farmer.

"I brought him here and showed him the Treehouse, and they just kind of put their heads together and said we want to redo the whole thing," said Farmer.

Then the Eagle Scout, Josh, went to work. He helped facilitate a complete makeover. He raised $12,000 and spent $10,000 of it so far. They installed new flooring, painted the walls, spruced up the bathrooms and were working on the ceiling.

Josh wasn't quite done yet when thieves broke in and vandalized the Treehouse.

"We had paints up here and they took advantage of the paints and had their way with the Treehouse," said Smith.

Paint was splattered all over the new floors, on the windows and walls. There was also water damage.

"They tore this out," said Smith, pointing at the sink, "Water had to be shut off from the outside and this is where water flooded all night long."

It happened overnight between later Sunday to early Monday morning.

"To think someone would come into St. Vincent's House with all the thing that St. Vincent's does for this community," said Smith.

As upsetting as it is, everyone at St. Vincent's is staying positive and they're determined to move forward.

"This will not stop us from being who we are at St. Vincent's House, that's people who are geared toward making life better," said Smith.

"Somebody else decides to mess it up, that does not devalue the work that you did. You did what you were supposed to do," said Farmer.

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