Stealing Christmas from children

Published 3:02 pm Thursday, December 27, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


An event, which had been in the plans for months, almost did not happen on Sunday.

As Santa’s Helpers arrived on Sunday for the final touches before opening the door for children who were not going to have a Christmas, the volunteers discovered all the toys for boys and half the toys for girls had been stolen.

It was if the story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, had jumped off the pages and into reality right here in Orange.

I could not believe the words I was reading as I discovered what had happened. I was hurt, angry and saddened by this action.

These toys were meant for children who were already facing a dismal holiday and this event was a ray of light and hope for them.

The person who did this, I hope you are reading this or someone you know reads it to you. You have reached a depth of lowness that I hope you may one day find a way to recover.

I was distraught over how this event almost did not happen. More so because I found out so late in the day as it was drawing towards the end of the originally scheduled event.

Thanks to the generosity of so many at the last minute, the event was delayed by 30 minutes, despite the thief’s intentions to derail Christmas.

I was graciously sent a list of the people who dug deep in the pockets just two days before Christmas and helped this event go forward. Each and every one of you deserves special recognition and I personally thank each of you.

I noticed two organizations on the list, which already do so much to help Orange and again, they did what they could to ensure the children would be blessed this Christmas. One was the Salvation Army, which on Thursday had a huge distribution day for those families on the Angel Trees. Orange Christian Services had helped ensure so many had food to cook and serve for Christmas.

Each of these people helped create Christmas magic for those Children.

Thank you to Lorena Todd, Donna Coyle, Todd Miller, Patricia Greer, Osheree Simpson, Warren Gipson, Yokiesha Broussard, Nancy Dallas, Marquetta Ledet, Officer Jason Laughlin, Officer Chuck Steele, Tiffany Overstreet, Lorenza Soloman, Tricia Stroud, Keedye Edwards, Cyrielle Easter, Dawn Echols, Destiny Echols, Cole Echols, Debbie Daniels, Mona Richard, Ola and Freddie Broussard, Mary Ekene, Michelle Cole, Delia Broadnax, Erica Sibley, Bianca Garrett, Salvation Army and Orange Christian Services.

You are truly what makes Orange great and makes me proud to call this home.


Dawn Burleigh is the editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at