It was last Thursday when San Xavier Little League president Letty Montero opened a storage shed at Manzanita Park to find it empty: $6,000 worth of new equipment had been stolen, as well as sentimental items.

“I just broke down in tears,” said Montero. “It’s just heartbreaking because all of us are volunteers.”

Twenty-three teams, including the defending state champion senior boys, were relying on the equipment for practice that begins later this week.

“It’s meaningless that someone would come and steal from our kids.”

Montero believes it happened during an electrical outage last Wednesday night.

“It was a perfect moment [for the thieves] to come in and get things.”

Montero filed a police report and began to ask the community for help.

“We started rebuilding.”

So far, approximately $10,000 have been donated. Southwest Tucson wasn’t going to let its kids not have the gear that they need for the upcoming season.

“It just warms my heart that this community and heart of Tucson is overwhelmingly supportive of our kids. And, we’re going to be able to re-buy everything and more that our kids need for the season to begin.”

And, just as our interview was finishing up, a local welding company came by to volunteer and improve the storage lock system. Montero is also a little league parent.

“Other companies said they are going to help out with security to make sure this never happens again because our kids don’t deserve that.”