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Viewers Help Grandmother Who Had Christmas Gifts Stolen

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jennifer Lindgren
Jennifer joined CBS 11 News in September 2013. For her, the move ...
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – The heartache of a grandmother, raising eight grandchildren struck the hearts of many people in North Texas; so much, that offers to help came pouring in.

Quintly Smith’s Fort Worth apartment was burglarized last Sunday.  The thief stole not only the gifts she’d just picked up for her eight grandchildren, but diapers, food and clothing gifts provided by charities.

“I love everybody’s kids, and try to help everybody with the little bit I’m blessed with, but when they took my grandkids’ stuff, that really hurt. Because I can’t get that back. Not only hurt them, but it hurt me,” Smith said.

Almost immediately after the story aired on Wednesday, CBS 11 News viewers came forward asking how they could help this grandmother.

Great Commission Baptist Church offered to accept donations on behalf of Ms. Smith. Dr. Dale Allen, head of the church’s outreach programs, says he received eight calls within an hour, and not just from individuals, but from DFW businesses, too.

“It’s the season of giving. When someone is faced with a situation like Sister Smith, your compassion goes out,” said Dr. Allen.  “That’s what our church is about, is to demonstrate love.”

By noontime Thursday, more than enough donations were received.   That evening, the church’s Angel Tree team took the donations and went shopping at Target and Burlington.

They purchased clothing, shoes, socks, a winter coat and a toy for each of Smith’s eight grandchildren. They also provided her with a gift card for diapers. Finally, Dr. Allen went to the grocery store on Friday and purchased fresh foods for the family.

Smith found out Thursday that people had come forward to help her, but she had no idea to what extent until she walked into the church lobby. Seeing the bags of donations, she broke down in tears.

“I just want to thank everybody. I thank you. I thank the people that helped and everybody for their prayers as well. I know my grandkids do, too. They don’t know how to say it, but they do,” she said.

The grandmother said she’s received another gift this week: a new place to live.  Smith says she’d been waiting to hear back on her public housing application, so she can move out of her current apartment, where the burglaries have taken place.  She found out late this week that she is approved and will move on January 1.

“There are still people out there giving and helping, no matter what situation they may be in. They’re still giving and helping. Some people may not have had anything but a dollar to give, and that’s a blessing to me,” Smith said.

As for the generous donations – Smith plans to keep them somewhere besides her apartment – until its time for the kids to receive them.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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