Vandals destroy community garden at McKinney non-profit business

McKinney police are looking for the vandals who destroyed a community garden at a non-profit business that hires employees with special needs.

The team members at Hugs Café put a lot of time into planting and watering a garden full of herbs every day. But when vandals came through last week and ripped up everything, volunteers decided to step up and make it new again.

The café serves up more than just sandwiches and soup. It's service with a smile from some very special team members.

Team member Jazmin Young says when they're not in the kitchen, they're out back tending to the garden.

“We dig and we cut flowers to make them bloom,” said Young.

All the time and care was wiped out by vandals last Thursday in a matter of minutes. Nearly every plant was ripped up and gone.

“They just took it. They chucked it,” said manager Maria Caccavale. “They took it with them when they left.”

“I was so heartbroken about it,” said customer Carolyn Searles. “I saw it on Facebook and I couldn't believe somebody would come in and do that.”

The dance team from Leonard Evans Junior Middle School saw what happened on Facebook too and decided to lend a hand.

“We just wanted to get as many people as we could out here,” said volunteer Emma Triana. “Anybody who could do it so we could help the community.”

“It felt really good because I have a little brother with Down Syndrome,” said volunteer Arielle Mack. “He's 3 years old. His name is David and it helps to know there's other people out there and you can help them.”

Volunteers got their hands dirty digging, planting and watering the garden back to life Wednesday morning.

The cafe called police about the crime. So far, they haven't been able to track down the vandals.

“Think twice before you vandalize something because you don't know what it is,” said Caccavale. “You don't know who planted it and you don't know who you're hurting.”

Police say they plan to patrol the area to keep an extra eye out and make sure all the hard work isn't ruined.