Veteran donates money to help repair damage at Bellingham church

A veteran has donated $1,000 to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to repair damage caused by a break-in that was discovered Monday morning, Dec. 8, according to a news release from the church.

The damage was in the basement under the church’s Old Parish Hall, 2116 Walnut St., in Bellingham.

The door had been kicked in and its frame smashed. Copper piping that connected the water heater to the kitchen and the bathroom was ripped out. It caused flooding in the basement. With no water available, a free meal program — known as Maple Alley Inn — couldn’t operate on Tuesday, Dec. 9. The church, in conjunction with the Opportunity Council, offers breakfasts on Tuesdays.

About 50 to 75 people eat breakfast at the Bellingham church each week.

The veteran, who wanted to remain anonymous, read about the burglary in The Bellingham Herald and decided to help. He is a member of Combat Veterans International.

“He just walked in and handed me 10 one-hundred-dollar bills to pay for the damage across the street. He said that he read about the burglary in the paper and it made him really angry. It brought tears to my eyes,” Jen Amundgaard, parish secretary, said in the news release.

The anonymous donor said he was certain that Maple Alley Inn serves many veterans.

The food program will resume at the church Tuesday, Dec. 16.