Generous viewers install permanent hoop for kids after last one stolen

DENVER – The Colorado community has answered the Problem Solvers’ call for help after robbers reportedly stole a basketball hoop at a nonprofit day care.

Venture for Success serves low-income children in Denver’s northeast neighborhoods. The kids were devastated to learn their favorite recess toy, their basketball hoop, was gone.

Within a few minutes of airing the story, dozens of calls and emails began pouring in asking how to help.

“When I saw the story that their basketball hoop was stolen, I was horrified,” viewer Robin Fischer said.

Fischer owns a successful small business in Loveland, Action Staffing Solutions. She doesn't know the children at the day care or the owners, but she knew she needed to help.

“I was underprivileged myself and didn’t have a lot so when I saw this it reminded me a lot of growing up in the inner city of Milwaukee,” she said.

On behalf of her company, Fischer decided to go shopping. She bought basketballs, gift cards and a new basketball hoop, then drove it to Denver on Wednesday morning to surprise everyone at the day care.

“You broke my heart when I saw that you were angry and that someone took something that meant so much to you,” she told the group of 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds.

When she announced she had a new hoop for them, everyone cheered and thanked her.

Fischer still had one surprise left. She gave owners Jacqueline and Nathaniel Cradle a card with a handwritten note. Jaqueline read it aloud through tears.

Fischer recruited two other local small businesses to help install the hoop in concrete so it can’t be stolen.

“I had tears in my eyes. These children are angels,” she said after seeing everyone’s reaction.

Arapahoe Rentals in Loveland donated use of an auger to dig a hole in the asphalt. Trevor Hansen of CTH Renovations donated his labor to dig the hole, pour the concrete and install the hoop.

“I’m so thankful to FOX31 and I’m thankful to all of the people that reached out to us,” Cradle said.

They said they are most thankful for the smiles the community’s generosity brought to the young faces.

Colorado 811, Xcel Energy, Comcast, Century Link, Denver Water, Wastewater Management, Denver Parks and Rec and Denver Traffic and Engineering also went above and beyond to locate utility lines on the property to ensure crews could dig the hole for the hoop on very short notice.

The new permanent hoop will be ready to use Monday afternoon after the concrete finishes drying.