WORCESTER, Mass. (CNN) – Some United States Marines and a Worcester, Massachusetts business overcame a setback to bring Christmas to needy kids.
Saturday, a van full of toys intended for underprivileged children was broken into, the toys gone. What happened next will put a smile on your face.
When the Marines landed at the Lucky Dog music hall Saturday afternoon, trash bags filled with new packed with toys filled the stage.
Sgt. James DaPonte said, “I think in the end it actually worked out pretty well for us.”
Things looked pretty gloomy Saturday, when the club’s annual “Santapalooza” to benefit the program was torpedoed by a grinch sometime after show-goers donated an unwrapped toy at the door.
Shattered glass was on the sidewalk near the club, where thieves broke into the Marines’ rental van, and stole all of the toys they just loaded into it.
Event organizer Tim Broadbent said, “Of all the things that could happen, we didn’t even consider that someone would break into the van and steal the toys.”
Club owner Bill Luff said, “I thought, ‘What are we going to do now?'”
Disgust became determination come Sunday morning.
At the Toys for Tots’ Worcester county warehouse, the Marines are hoping to distribute toys to more than 20-thousand needy kids come the end of this week.
So the Lucky Dog crowd hit social media hard, and opened up Sunday night to right a wrong.
Luff said, “I opened the bar at 5 o’clock. By 5:15, we had more toys than we had the night before.”
Broadbent said, “The proof is in the pudding.”
Indeed, the Lucky Dog collected five times more toys with its rebound effort, and more than doubled the cash collected to 4,500 bucks.
Sgt. DaPonte said, “It still shows that there are caring people out there who want to do the right thing.”
Luff said, “It tells me there are good people out there; not just bad people.”
Those bad people have not been caught yet, but the good people have made Christmas merrier for some needy kids. The Marines needed two trucks to haul away the toys collected at the lucky dog.
Toys for Tots in Worcester is accepting boy donations through Thursday.