What bothers the charity isn't so much the $2,000 price tag of gift cards, alcohol and backpack that were stolen, but what they meant in terms of helping to foster healthy relationships between children and adult role models.
"How we look at it is three to four kids," executive director April Wolfe said.
The setback won't stop the organization's plans to host its annual banquet auction Saturday at the Lynnwood Convention Center.
The theft occurred at the Big Brothers Big Sisters' downtown Everett office some time between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, Wolfe said. A business in the same building also was burgled.
Everett police are investigating, officer Aaron Snell said.
Stolen items included an alcohol bar, gift cards for various restaurants and a JanSport backpack, Wolfe said.
"It's kind of a random bunch of stuff they took," she said.
Donors have begun stepping up to offer replacement items.
Before the theft, the organization had an estimated $60,000 of goods and services on hand to sell at its Dream Builders Auction, entering its 25th year.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nationwide mentoring network that pairs volunteer mentors, known as "bigs," with 6-to 18-year-old children, known as "littles."
Every match costs nearly $1,000.
The Snohomish County auction and related activities, including dinner tickets and sponsorships, typically raise about $93,000 -- enough for about 100 matches.
The stolen items represented a bigger loss than their actual dollar value because they're packaged at the auction in ways that encourage larger bids.
The Snohomish County Big Brothers Big Sisters group serves about 300 children each year. There's a long list of boys hoping for mentors. They sometimes wait two to three years to be paired with an adult, Wolfe said.
For Saturday's auction, doors open at 5:30 p.m. The event includes a gourmet dinner and live music afterward.
Tickets are $100 per person. They can be purchased in advance or at the door, while they last. The Lynnwood Convention Center's address is 3711 196th St.
To RSVP, email email@example.com or call 425-252-2227. For donations, call the same number or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach Everett police with tips about the theft, call: 425-257-8450.
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