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Corpus Christi program that serves people with special needs has equipment stolen

Special Hearts in the Arts helps those with special needs thrive through art. Thieves recently put a halt on their work.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Special Hearts in the Arts helps those with special needs showcase their talents through the arts. But now, those efforts may be halted, because of thieves.

In the midst of looking for a new building to operate in, this past weekend was a devastating blow when the nonprofit was broken into. Electronics and instruments were stolen from the facility.  

Idali Duarte Montes is the Chief Operating Officer for the organization and said the team was already dealing with a stressful time with the move. 

"We're already in a time of a little bit of turmoil and so this just kind of was, you know, a little bit of a kick after all of that."

Thieves took off with a Macbook Pro and a TV the facility uses to connect with students via zoom.

"We put them on the screen so that the students that are here can actually spend time with their friends that are at home, and that TV is gone," Duarte Montes said.  

They also left with a Bluetooth speaker.

"That speaker means more than anything, I think, because we use it all the time," Duarte Montes said. "Every Saturday that we have rehearsals, that speaker is what provides the music, and it provides the music add a lot of performances too."

It doesn't stop there, instruments were stolen as well.

"Some of them were donated items, we had some really nice instruments that were taken a couple of violins and a beautiful flute," Duarte Montes said.

The incident not only affecting staff, the impacts of it all -- trickling down to the students.

Sherri Davis is the Executive Director of Special Hearts in the Arts. She said her students mean everything to her.

"We don't say the word disabilities,' Davis said. "In fact, every person on the face of this planet has a disability. So we say special abilities. And that's what the 'special hearts' will tell you."

Ethan, Vicky and Morgan are the 'special hearts' that are most affected by the items stolen in the incident.

"I like drawing, and Special Hearts, and then I sing songs," Ethan said.

Vicky is an artist.

"My favorite part is sign language, acting, and putting on performances for the community," Vicky said.

Morgan's favorite place is in the classroom - especially when there's music!

"To paint in a class with dancing," Morgan said. "I love Ms. Sherri so much."

Their positivity is shining through, but still - it's heartbreaking for staff.  

"It just hurts to know that it came out of our hands, we, you know, work so hard for things, our students work so hard for their performances, and these are items that we need for them," Duarte Montes said.

If you would like to donate or get involved with this nonprofit, they are looking for volunteers. Follow them on Facebook, @specialheartscc. They have a fundraiser coming up Friday, September 30.

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