Bell Gardens youth sports league receives outpouring of support following major theft

BELL GARDENS, Calif. (KABC) -- A much-needed storage container for the Bell Gardens Youth Football and Cheer League was donated to the team Wednesday after their old container was ransacked, leaving them in doubt this season.

"The reaction was devastation," said Jose Andujo, league president. "We've been working hard to pick this league from where we were at."

"I was devastated because those kids they come out, they just, they do all the work they can," said Lester Morales, Bell Gardens High senior.

Lester used to play with the youth league when he was a kid; now he's paying it forward.

"It brings me back to like come coach and just want to benefit those kids," said Lester.

Whoever did the wrongdoing cut through the fence behind the school and broke into their storage container stealing thousands of dollars worth of equipment, school officials say.

Once the news broke that this had happened, the community came together to help the students out.

J-2 Containers stepped up to help and donated a 20-foot steel storage container to the league.

"The owner, the morning of when the news article came out, she saw what had happened," said Jasmin Rodriguez, manager at J-2 Containers. "She said, 'We are going to donate a container'."

Besides a new container, Andujo says they've received financial help from the Chargers, Rams, local government leaders and many more, totaling $51,000 in fundraising and donations.

"The saying that it takes a village is coming true. Because it does take a village to raise these kids," Andujo said. "The village came together to help with this program."
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