Man donates more than 1,000 toys to Connecticut church after donated toys were stolen

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ByJoe Torres via WABC logo
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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Joe Torres reports on the man who stepped up to donate toys to a church who had their donations stolen.

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut (WABC) -- Christmas came early in Bridgeport, and Santa arrived in a U-Haul truck.

A small army of volunteers at the Greater Bridgeport Christian Fellowship Church unloaded more than 1,000 toys Wednesday afternoon, everything from bicycles to skateboards to dolls and drum sets.

"This is what Christmas is all about," Pastor Eric Torres said. "And it's a beautiful thing to see the joy be restored back in Christmas for our children here in our city."

Just last week, Eyewitness News spoke to Pastor Torres after thieves broke into the storage pods outside the church and stole hundreds of toys collected for kids this Christmas.

Massachusetts business owner Lucas Burnley heard what happened and took action.

He raised $45,000 and went on an eight-day shopping spree, and on Wednesday, he drove 3 1/2 hours to deliver the toys.

"There was a few times when I was growing up that I received toys from Toys for Tots, and so for me, it's always held a kind of special place in my heart," Burnley said.

Pastor Torres told Eyewitness News that before the robbery, the plan was to deliver gifts to 6,000 kids through the Bridgeport area.

Now, with this generous contribution, more than 6,500 kids will get gifts this holiday season.

And instead of one gift, all those kids will now get two presents.

Organizers plan to distribute the gifts this Saturday and the following Saturday.

Police tell Eyewitness News they've identified a suspect and expect at least one arrest soon.


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