Thieves knocked a hole in the wall of the Empty Stocking Fund’s warehouse and stole thousands of dollars in donated goods for children. (Courtesy Empty Stocking Fund).

The Empty Stocking Fund, a nonprofit that collects toys and necessities for children, was robbed overnight on Wednesday with a thief – or thieves – making off with thousands of dollars in donated goods just days before Christmas. To add insult to injury, the perpetrators knocked a giant hole in the cinderblock wall of the nonprofit’s southwest Atlanta warehouse. A post on Empty Stocking’s Instagram account reads: “Sadly, our warehouse was broken into last night in the most aggressive of ways. We have invested in an alarm system to secure the space after multiple break-ins this summer but they just keep getting more creative and aggressive. The loss of goods at this point of the season will be significant. The impact to the families yet to serve even more so. Our hearts are heavy.” Donations can be made at emptystockingfund.org.

The surge in COVID-19 cases has forced more restaurants to close and postponed events, while historic Ebenezer Baptist Church announced on Wednesday that its cancelling in-person services. Ria’s Bluebird, Midway Pub, Clermont Lounge, The Earl, and Plaza Theatre all announced closures, postponements and cancellations. Ebenezer Church said it would return to virtual services for the foreseeable future. The AJC reported Wednesday that COVID testing sites around the metro were inundated with people trying to get a test before holiday gatherings this weekend.

Along with Wednesday’s announcement that Zesto in Little Five Points has closed forever after 58 years, Rhodes Bakery announced it will permanently close its Cheshire Bridge Road location on Christmas Eve after 68 years in business. Known for its cheese straws, petit fours, and caramel cakes, the bakery will continue to operate its Roswell location at 880 Holcomb Bridge Road. Read more at Eater Atlanta.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.