Vandals burn down Margate non-profit, destroy holiday gifts

MARGATE, FLA. (WSVN) - The members of a Margate non-profit organization are desperate for help after vandals burned down their headquarters over the weekend.

Vandals burned down the Margate Lions Club, Sunday, and all of the holiday donations they had collected inside.

“Come down here, there’s nine fire engines, seven police cars and the smoke billowing out,” President Sydney King said.

The fire consumed the building and everything inside, including Christmas gifts for needy children, along with boxes of eyeglasses for those who can’t see.

“Eyeglasses, board games, bicycles, toys, everything that the kids would like to play with,” said member Alex Vera.

Now, members of the club that is more than 65 years old are looking for a plan to recover. The club is 100 percent charity, and all of its members are volunteers.

“It is so devastating. It is absolutely devastating,” said member Eddie Decristofaro. “We have members that will go throughout the community and do whatever is absolutely needed. We just try to do whatever we can to support the City of Margate.”

King said the building has been vandalized more than a dozen times this year.

“How can you do this to people in need? It’s just too terrible,” King said. “We will continue. I’m from the Churchill spirit and no vandals are going to defeat us.”

The club is in desperate need of help. They have $7 in their bank account. Their headquarters is destroyed and needs to be rebuilt, but they mostly need Christmas donations. They still want to help feed the hungry during the holidays.

If you’re interested in helping the club, visit:

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