Lochbuie, surrounding communities step up to help replaced children’s Christmas toys stolen

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LOCHBUIE, Colo.  -- The community steps up after thieves steal dozens of Christmas toys from the Lochbuie Senior Center.

Committee members for the annual Children’s Christmas Party realized the presents were stolen from a closet inside the building on Thursday.  If left them with short notice and short on funds to replace the toys for the more than 200 kids expected to show up Saturday.

Last night after our story aired dozens of people stepped up.

“People just started calling.  I had calls until 12 p.m. last night,” said one of the committee members, Dee Nelson.

Thieves may have stolen the presents, but they didn’t take the spirit of Christmas away.

“I mean its just overwhelming, you can’t move,” Nelson said as she showed us around the now stuff full room full of donated toys.

“They brought balls, the big truck and baby dolls.  This was replaced.  70% of this was replaced today.” she said.

From 9 a.m. up until the final moments before Saturday’s party, people from around the area like Israel Bacerra stopped by to drop off bags of toys and anything they could to help.

“Sorry that happened to you guys.  Its just a bunch of stuff for kids really.  Its not much,” Bacerra said.

“Its amazing, what happened was very disheartening but today was just so unbelievable,” Nelson told him as she gave him a tight hug.

With a room now stuffed with toys, a line of children patiently waits outside.

Inside, the room overcome with anticipation, Nelson smiles, “Last night sad.  Today wonderful, happy, unbelievable, amazing,”  she said.

As the kids file in, meeting Santa and Ms. Claus, each one steps to the room full of toys where elves hand each child a brand new toy.

Thieves may have stolen from the children, but the community gave something even more important back, belief in thy neighbors.

“People can be so hateful and stupid but they can be so wonderful in place of it,” Nelson said.

Thousands of dollars in gift cards and toys were dropped off late Friday night and early Saturday morning to make up for the loss.

More than 200 kids showed up for the party and each one left with a smile and a new toy.

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