A mom in Caroline thought Christmas was spoiled by a thief, who recently stole her paycheck after she had cashed it.
The money was going to be used for presents for her 5-year-old son, but was gone before she could spend it.
The story got back to Marilou Harrington-Lawson, the town clerk in Caroline, who heard about it from her husband. Harrington-Lawson then sent an email out last Thursday for donations.
That email went out to people who are signed up for an email program, or ListServ, operated by the Tompkins County Human Services Coalition.
“I put my work number and my cell phone number down, and within no more than two minutes, the phone started ringing off the hook,” she said.
Hours later, she sent out another email, thanking the community for the overwhelming support and donations she received.
She says a number of people told her that they had very little, but were willing to give as well. There was even a 5-year-old boy, who heard the story from his mother, and decided to pack up a few of his toys and donate them to the family in need.
Harrington-Lawson delivered the donations to the mom this weekend.
“When I was able to stop and drop off some of the toys, and some of the gifts and stuff, the mother was in tears,” she said. “They were tears of joy. She just couldn’t believe that everybody had just stepped out and was willing to help her.”
Harrington-Lawson says she even got calls from people asking if they could give the mother a gift for Christmas as well.