LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- What workers at the United Way of Androscoggin County had originally reported as theft has turned out to be one big mix-up.
A spokesperson from the United Way of Androscoggin said they thought someone posing as a United Way volunteer stole the supplies from the Big Lots in Auburn on Monday.
They were alerted to a problem when they sent a volunteer to pick up the supplies on Wednesday, and a Big Lots staff member said someone had already been by to collect.
Now, they think someone who identfied himself as a United Way volunteer picked up the supplies in conjuction with the United Way of York County.
"We have been in touch with the organization that has the supplies and are working to have them returned," said Joleen Bedard, Executive Director of the United Way of Androscoggin County.
Bedard said there was a "significant number" of supplies missing from the Auburn Big Lots.
They had been collecting backpacks and other supplies for the United Way's annual drive.
The collection mix-up happened just days before the backpacks were to be stuffed and distributed this Friday.
Bedard said since the reported theft, there has been an outpouring of support from the community attempting to make up for what they thought they had lost.
"I've had some calls today. One woman wanted to donate 50 backpacks," said Bedard. "Any and all donations are greatly appreciated for this project."
She said they have about 550 backpacks at the Lewiston office.