Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco residents come to the rescue after kids gifts are stolen

NEW PORT RICHEY — The calls began pouring in on Friday morning.

A man offered to buy a wagon, a ball and tennis shoes for a 16-month-old boy. A woman wanted to donate a remote-control truck for a child. Someone wanted to give $1,000.

The outpouring of community support at the local Guardian ad Litem office came after someone stole $500 in gifts that were intended for 25 disadvantaged kids served by the organization.

Now, after a flood of about 60 calls, the gifts will be replaced. There's even money left over for extras the kids need throughout the year, such as diapers, tennis shoes and formula, said Marco Sandusky, Pasco County's area coordinator for the statewide organization.

"The support from the community won't just allow us to replace gifts that were stolen, but allows us to meet kids' needs all year long, on a daily basis," he said.

The original gifts, donated by employees at Palm Harbor University High School, were stolen sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Tabitha Lambert, a Guardian ad Litem employee, wrapped the presents Wednesday evening with her husband, Darrell, and his mother, Robin Lachance, who collected the gifts from her co-workers at the high school. Then they piled the gifts into Tabitha Lambert's car so that she could drop them off the next morning at her organization, which advocates for abandoned, abused or neglected children.

But when she went outside her Embassy Hills home Thursday morning, the gifts were gone. According to a report from the Sheriff's Office, someone tried to pry open the back passenger side door, which caused the window to break.

A story in the Times on Friday detailed the incident.

By the time Tabitha Lambert got to work Friday morning, the phone was ringing off the hook with people eager to help.

"Oh my gosh, it was nonstop," she said. "We had some calls waiting when we got here this (Friday) morning."

Callers who wanted to donate money were referred to Suncoast Voices for Children, a nonprofit that partners with Guardian ad Litem. Those who wished to donate gifts could drop them off at Guardian ad Litem's New Port Richey office, Sandusky said.

"It's been pretty incredible," Sandusky said. "There's kids who move from one foster home to another and don't have a change of clothes in a new home. We try to step in, and we can do that with this support that people have provided."

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at cspencer@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

Pasco residents come to the rescue after kids gifts are stolen 12/12/08 [Last modified: Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Who took a knee? How each NFL team responded to Donald Trump's tweets about anthem protests

    Bucs

    NFL players and coaches across the league reacted in various ways on Sunday to remarks from President Donald Trump speaking about NFL players who have protested during the national anthem.

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Florida State out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2011

    Blogs

    Florida State's first 0-2 start since 1989 has led to another low.

  3. From care center to purgatory to 'hellhole': How 11 frail elders died after Irma

    Hurricanes

    As she got ready to say goodbye to her mother at the Hollywood Hills nursing home, Rose Wyda's heart was sick. Hurricane Irma had been gone for nearly 48 hours, but the trail of shattered trees and broken, hissing power lines the storm left behind was still dangerously apparent. And the nursing home was part of the …

  4. Bucs' Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson kneel during national anthem

    Bucs

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings, two days after President Donald Trump made critical remarks about NFL …

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Authorities ID man killed in Clearwater Beach boating crash; Girl, 4, still in critical condition

    Briefs

    An Altamonte Springs man died and a 4-year-old girl remains in critical condition Sunday morning after their personal watercraft collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m.