Editor’s note: Trey Williams recently left The Star, where he was an editor covering breaking news and race and equity issues, to move to New York and work as a senior writer for Fortune.
A couple is raising money to rebuild their lives after a moving truck containing all their belongings was stolen from in front of their apartment in downtown Kansas City.
Overnight on Sunday, the night before Trey Williams and Grace Katzmar were set to move to New York City, a person broke into — and drove off with — a moving truck packed with all their possessions. The truck was parked outside an apartment building near West 20th Street and Southwest Boulevard.
The couple started a GoFundMe page to try and recover what they lost. It’s raised over $11,000 of its $25,000 goal in under 24 hours from 110 individual donations.
The stolen truck was full of furniture, clothes, books, records, art, kitchen appliances and personal documents, according to the GoFundMe page. Some of the items are irreplaceable — like Katzmar’s box of keepsakes that held letters and pictures and William’s records, photos and dashiki that were passed down from his father.
“We just hope to be able to restore some sense of normalcy to our lives as we look ahead to creating new memories,” the couple wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Police told Williams and Katzmar that the truck had been located on Monday night, but it was empty, with no sign of the perpetrator, Williams told The Star.
Williams said he was shell-shocked when he saw that the truck was gone.
“I could tell as soon as [Katzmar] went outside... something was wrong,” Williams said. “Her eyes got incredibly big and you could see the panic.”
Williams said the response they’ve received from the GoFundMe page has been greater and more heartfelt than they expected. He said beyond friends and family, strangers have reached out with support or shared the link to donate.
“I definitely think that more people in kind of a community sense have either donated, commented, or reached out than we would have thought,” Williams said.
Williams and Katzmar, who are leaving for New York on Tuesday with the belongings they have left, are still looking forward to building a life together. Katzmar is set to start a new job teaching eighth grade English to low-income students at a charter school in Harlem. She’s also pursuing a master’s degree in education policy from Columbia University. Williams works as a senior writer for Fortune Magazine.
“While we’re still excited, we’re now faced with building our new home from nothing,” the couple said.