'You have to be a low life to steal things like this'

"THEY need to pick up these kids and dump them in the middle of Vietnam to get a feel for what real life is like."

That's the opinion of Heart Reach Australia founder Chris O'Dempsey after one his charity boxes was stolen by youths last night.

The box had been located on the counter of Banjo's at Sunshine Plaza for about four months.

In that time it filled up with loose change from people donating to give underprivileged children in Vietnam a better future.

This morning, Mr O'Dempsey arrived at the store to collect the charity box so he could take the donations to Vietnam next month.

He was told that the box and its contents - about $200 - was stolen about 9pm yesterday.

"You have to be a low life to steal things like this," Mr O'Dempsey said

"There were pictures all over the box of children in situon dirt floors saying 'please help me', not please help yourself.

"It makes you wonder about the next generation.

Heart Reach Australia founder Chris O'Dempsey with one his charity boxes, a similar one was stolen by youths last night.
Heart Reach Australia founder Chris O'Dempsey with one his charity boxes, a similar one was stolen by youths last night. Contributed

"There is nothing people cannot get in Australia and the selfish and ignorant attitude goes beyond theft.

"It is walking over the faces of kids who barely have enough to eat and struggle to get to a school.

"These (thieves) need more than just a slap on the backside ... a month in the worn out rubber thongs on a mud floor and one meal a day might be a better solution."

Mr O'Dempsey's charity has been based on the Coast for more than 20 years and said the money could have helped 10 kids in very poor, remote regions of Vietnam.

The charity helps kids in the Mekong Delta and the demilitarised zone in the centre of the country.

He said the children were incredibly poor and the money was to help pay for food and schooling.

"They have a life as tough as it is anywhere and would never dream of stealing anything, they are happy with the biggest smiles, and get on with life."

Anyone who would like to help the foundation can donate at www.heartreachaustralia.com.



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