Act of kindness helps American Legion Post 289 in Riverside rebuild after burglary caught on camera

American Legion Post 289 in Riverside received a helpful gift from local union workers and carpenters after they were robbed of equipment and materials.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Last month, thieves stole from a Riverside American Legion hall that was undergoing a building renovation. Now, the veterans have received a gift, an immeasurable act of kindness to Post 289.

"It took the wind out of my sails. I didn't know what to do," said Mike Buchner, the CEO of Post 289. "Took most all of our equipment and materials. And they made two runs. They filled up, unloaded. And filled up and unloaded again. Who steals from veterans? What kind of dirtbag are you?"

The building was under complete renovation and was supposed to be finished by Nov. 11 - Veterans Day. So who better to step in and help than a carpenters group whose members help... veterans?

"We offered our assistance by donating materials, donating time, our apprenticeship; we moved classes from the training center to here and performed classes while training students and our Riverside residents. They were able to finish this remodel," said Sean Hartranft, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters.

"The next thing you know, they're in there ripping this place apart. Just going like mad. They had a crew of 20 guys, 20 the next day," said Buchner.

"Our organization prides itself in partnering with veterans and giving veterans a pathway to good careers," said Hartranft.

And the carpenters weren't the only ones to offer aid.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 440 heard about the burglary and donated tools to ensure the post, which hadn't been touched in nearly 40 years, would be around for at least another 40.

"We're veterans. We're not going to lay down," said Buchner.

And they didn't. They just bounced back and with a little help, they're rebuilding.

"I definitely haven't lost my faith in humanity," said Bucher.
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