My family and I live on Bobbie Court in Keizer. I work full time at a job where I have the lowest pay scale in my department. My husband hasn’t been steadily employed for two years.

I have a son who is going through severe medical treatment and his medicines are at least $100 a month (that’s what the insurance doesn’t pay). My daughter is in pre-school which I have to pay for. And, we rent our house and can’t find anywhere else that’s less expensive to move that allows pets. We have two therapy dogs. Oh, and our only computer broke the other day so trying to find a job or a better job just got more difficult because everything is online.

Today is my daughter’s fifth birthday. All month she has been looking forward to this day, what kid wouldn’t? I had to scrape and save all year to gather enough money to buy her the few presents we could get. A half-priced Barbie, a DVD that was on sale and a few other little things. She wanted her ears pierced and my aunt in Ohio paid for that. She wanted to go to the A.C. Gilbert House for the New Year’s celebration and to have a birthday cake from a store. (I always make the cakes because I haven’t been able afford to buy one from a store.) Again I saved all year putting money in the piggy bank whenever I had change for the purpose of buying a real cake this year.

My husband has a temporary seasonal position and was told he could work overtime today, I had a vacation day because it’s her birthday. We got up early, go out to get in our only working vehicle (our car is at the repair shop and is going to cost almost $700 to repair). Our Suburban has a slight gas leak so we’ve been getting around 9 miles a gallon and can’t wait until he gets his paycheck to pay for the car repairs. So, we go out, it’s freezing, close to 28 degrees and what do we find?

The back passenger window where our daughter’s car seat sits is smashed to bits. Some idiot broke the window, got in, riffled through the glove compartment box and for what? Absolutely nothing…

There was nothing in the truck worth taking. We had a car charger for our phone, they left it. We had some loose change, again they left it, there was nothing in the glove compartment box, not even our insurance cards—we keep those in our wallets. There were documents and a bunch of paper towels. They didn’t take the loose change, they didn’t take the car charger, they did nothing but smash the window and scatter papers.

So now to get the window replaced it will cost us $200.

So thank you, thank you to the idiot who smashed the window. There’s an Infiniti parked down the street 15 feet away, they did nothing to it. There’s an Expedition across the street and brand new Dodge King Cab 15 feet the other direction. But what did they do? They break the window of the oldest, cruddiest vehicle on the street.

So a family that is already struggling to put food on the table, to pay for our child’s few wants for her birthday, we now cannot do. Thank you, you moron, for doing this.

We’re sick and tired of people saying well at least no one got hurt. No one got hurt? How do I explain to our daughter she can’t have the cake she wanted and she can’t go to the Gilbert House because everything I scraped and saved, I have to spend on the window for the truck.

What, did you get a big thrill from breaking the window? Did you think it was going to make you special or important? What were you looking for? You obviously didn’t find it. What did you think you’d get from us? We have nothing. Next time you break into a vehicle why don’t you look at the vehicle before you break the window. It’s a 1997, covered in rust, the back bumper is about to fall off, there’s a hole where the license plate is and the light is gone. the front of the truck is barely hanging on, it’s all broken and smashed. The leather seats are all ripped, I had to sew them back together. Oh and the wiper blades are held on with binder clips.  It’s worth a whole $500 if I trade it in and now I have to spend $200 on a window. If I don’t get the window replaced then it will get wet inside and be completely ruined.

Thank you for ruining what little bit of chance I had to give my daughter a normal fifth birthday, to give her something she wanted.

My son couldn’t have much for his birthday either because of the problems with our car.

Each year I try, I really try to do something special for my kids birthdays but after four years of struggling, of not having enough, of not knowing what to do next and finally thinking we can finally possibly have a normal birthday, you go and ruin it.

Are you happy now knowing you destroyed a 5 year-old girl’s birthday? Are you satisfied now? I hope you’re happy with yourself. I hope you enjoyed your moment of smashing the glass and hearing it shatter. Of digging through the glove compartment to find nothing. I’m glad you got to have your minute of useless fun and will enjoy the feeling of making a family already struggling go deeper under.

I was too embarrassed to ask for help for Christmas, I can’t get food stamps or anything else—we’re just barely above the limit by about $100 a month for my employment. I don’t ask for help from agencies because there are people far worse off than us. But we go without. I buy everything used, the only time we get new stuff is birthdays and Christmas or if our family gives us something as a gift. We desperately need a newer vehicle but can’t afford one. And you do this to us. Why? Why did you do it?

So I have to say thank you for making me be worried the house will be broken into next, thank you for making me afraid for the safety of my children, thank you for destroying what I thought was a safe neighborhood where nothing ever much happened, thank you for ruining my daughter’s birthday and thank you for costing me money that I don’t have. I appreciate it, and Happy New Year to you, too.

(To reach Carissa Spenst e-mail