New Haven Police Department is still trying to track down who made off with dozens of toys meant for some of the neediest kids.
However, the community stepped up to those in need.
Thousands of toys and clothes went missing from a police substation on Charles Street. But, on Tuesday afternoon, Eyewitness News viewers and Walmart collected items for the children.
“Christmas is restored in the city of new Haven,” organizer Metashar Dillon said.
Dillon said she can smile now, but just a couple of days ago, she admits it was hard to believe it could still be a merry Christmas.
“I was hurt,” Dillon said.
Dillon organized a toy drive for 1,000 of New Haven's neediest children. On Friday, she stored the toys at the New Haven Police Substation, but 24 hours later, many of them were gone.
“They had taken all of the infant stuff. All of the girl stuff,” Dillon said.
After word got out about the theft, the response from the community has been overwhelming. The United Way stepped in to help.
“We put an online giving page up and we allowed people to make donations, so that we can come here and shop,” Jim Travers with United Way of Greater New Haven said.
Twenty-four hours later, she was presented with a gift card for $4,000 to use at Walmart.
As volunteers walked through the Walmart in New Haven, they soon realized there was one more surprise waiting. One that bought Dillon to tears
“I have to take the card back because they're changing the $500 to $5,000,” Dillon said. “Walmart doubled our online campaign.”
Even Dillon’s son who was helping volunteers pick out the toys couldn’t help but cry.
“It's heartbreaking to work on something and have it go away,” Travers said.
Even though a Grinch may have stolen presents, Dillon’s trust in her community has been restored.
Dillon also received some other gifts from different nonprofit groups from around the country as well.
As for the police investigation, no arrests have been made as of Tuesday night.
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