ATLANTA — A hammer on the brick wall was enough to enter the warehouse of the nonprofit Empty Stocking Fund.
Executive Director Mandy Hunt says someone stole thousands of dollars worth of gifts.
“Many of these families tell us that these are often the only gifts their children will receive,” Hunt said.
The community heard of the group’s misfortune and rallied in a big way. On Thursday, tens of thousands of dollars in donations began pouring in from the community.
“These people want to be the Grinch and are trying to steal their Christmas. We’re not going to let that happen,” Robb Dinker said.
Rob Dinker of the Dinker Foundation and his accountant and partner Donald Williams heard about what had happened and knew they had to do something.
“These volunteers who are working so hard to help collect these donations, and were like, ‘No, we can’t, we can’t let volunteers down,'” Williams said.
They put in $10,000 with their own money and put it directly into the empty storage fund.
This significant donation, along with those from others, helped the nonprofit raise more than $53,000 Thursday night.
“Maybe this is an example: ‘Hey, do you want to come, do you want to come and rob the community? Look, we’ve not only replenished what you took, but we’ve more than doubled it now,” Dinker said.
Hunt says they’ve already given gifts to 20,000 families, but still had a few hundred left.
The hope is that something horrible will turn into even more blessings.
“We need to turn it around and make it a positive thing, and not let this Grinch ruin Christmas for us and for these families,” Hunt said.
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