Phoenix charity that helps disabled children ripped off...again

Posted: Updated:
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX - They help children with special needs but now a Phoenix charity is struggling with that mission because they have been ripped off.

At a time when budgets are tight, UCP of Central Arizona, a non-profit, is having to spend money on new tires instead of therapy for children because of thieves who continue to target their vans.

Dan Rossi, with UCP, explains, "I understand times are really bad out there and people are doing desperate things but to pray on a charity organization doing good things for people with disabilities, you know, it's a really sad situation."
Rossi  is the executive director of charitable organization. He showed up Tuesday morning to find two of the charities’ vans up on blocks without any wheels for the second time in two weeks.

Rossi says, "Budget-wise this takes about $8,000 out of our budget that could go to serve people with disabilities." UCP of Central Arizona serves 3,000 Valley families, primarily children, not only with cerebral palsy but Down syndrome, developmental delays and autism.

The buses are used to pick kids up from schools valley-wide and take them to UCP for therapy. Without the transportation, kids go without the therapy. Rossi also explains, "Every dollar we spend on new tires is a dollar that doesn't go to physical therapy for a child in need."

This is all aside from the budget cuts the non-profit is facing. It is now forced to get by on $50,000 less a month. This organization doing a lot to step up security by putting in more lights and cameras but the criminals came prepared.

"They had a pole with them to hit the security camera out of range," says Rossi. He says he just hopes these crimes stop for the kids sake. "Our hope is that people realize the impact they have when they do things like this. It hurts not only us but the community all together."

If you know anything about this crime you are urged to call police and to find out more about this charity and how you might be able to help, go to UCP of Central AZ.