Every year, Lucas and Maddie Burnley take part in raising money for Cape Cod’s annual Stuff-A-Bus which provides toys for underprivileged kids. This year, the fundraiser was well on its way when the Burnleys heard news that thieves had stolen more than 1,000 toys that had been donated for families in need from a local church.
The couple decided to add one more cause to their fundraising efforts.
For two months, members of the Greater Bridgeport Christian Fellowship church had been collecting donations for Toys-For-Tots and storing them in six storage pods outside the church. According to the church’s pastor, Eric Torres, “more than 6,000 children across 1,400 families had registered to receive toys” from the toy drive. The grinchy-thieves stole toys from four of the six pods.
By the time Lucas heard the news about the church, he had helped raise $35,000 for the Stuff-A-Bus drive and decided to rally his community to donate even more to help the church as well. In total, the fundraiser brought in more than $90,000 – all of which went to purchase toys (which took up all of Lucas’ workshop and the Burnley’s home!)
Lucas and Maddie spent $45,000 of the donations on toys to help the church replace all that had been lost in the robbery (and then some!).
Torres had never met Lucas or Maddie, but as soon as they pulled up to his church with a truck full of toys, he hugged them both tight, as if they had been friends forever. The pastor said it was like “the hug heard ’round the world” and that he could “feel the joy” coming out of the Burnleys.
Thanks to the community’s generosity (and the Burnleys’ skillful organization), all of the children who had registered for gifts through the church’s program will have something to open this Christmas.
Inspired? Be sure to spread the Christmas cheer and share this story with anyone who could use a little warmth this holiday season!
Share your story & inspire the world.
If you have an uplifting story we would love to hear about it! Share it with us here.