KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A metro organization that uses basketball to connect with at risk teenagers is facing a setback after someone burglarized their fireworks stand.
Michael Loney founded the Freedom Hoops program in 2014.
The group uses kids in its program to staff a fireworks tent near 39th and Mission Road in Kansas City, Kansas. Money used from the fundraiser pays for meals, uniforms, gym time and other costs.
Early Wednesday morning, Loney says thieves broke into the tent and stole thousands of dollars worth of fireworks.
“It’s a bummer to walk into the stand and everything was everywhere,” Loney said. “We just bought the stuff and now it’s on the ground and somebody stole it.”
Loney estimates the total loss to be about $3,000. While it’s a setback, organizers say they will figure out funding to keep the organization running.
“That’s a lot of meals that we spend every single week for kids,” Loney said.
Loney also says while this has been a tough experience, it will provide a valuable lesson.
“Hey, it’s just a bump in the road. Crazy things happen.” he said. “We could’ve been held up at gunpoint, we weren’t. We could’ve been beat up, we weren’t.”
Freedom Hoops may not reach the $15,000 goal because of the stolen fireworks, but Loney says he has faith that the group will find the funding elsewhere.
To learn more about Freedom Hoops, you can visit their website here.