Texas Public Housing Complex Receives Thousands of Donated Gifts After Hundreds Were Stolen
"San Antonio is a very caring and supportive community," Joel Tabar, director of community development initiatives at the San Antonio Housing Authority, said
San Antonio residents generously came together in the spirit of the holiday season.
Last week, the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) and its employees were supposed to deliver toys to kids in one of the city's largest public housing complexes, but the gifts were stolen before they were delivered, according to a post on the group's Facebook page.
The night before SAHA employees were set to deliver the Christmas goodies to the children at Alazan-Apache Courts, gifts for "more than 200 children were stolen overnight" from a community room within the complex, Joel Tabar, director of community development initiatives at the San Antonio Housing Authority, told CNN.
But, once residents of San Antonio learned about the Grinch-like theft, they banded together to donate thousands of new gifts for the children.
"San Antonio is a very caring and supportive community," Tabar told CNN. "And in this case, the city came together to save Christmas for these hundreds of kids."
San Antonio Police confirmed to CNN that police responded to a burglary in the SAHA building on the same day as the toy-giving event, but the case currently remains under investigation. A representative for the San Antonio Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
SAHA previously shared the news of the burglary on their Facebook page, where they asked individuals to donate gifts in an effort to replace the ones that were stolen.
The Texas community came through with many more gifts than had ever been donated to SAHA, CNN reports. Tabar told CNN that SAHA received "over $18,000 in donations and more than 2,000 toys for the children" from nonprofits, local religious communities and San Antonio residents.
The group was even able to open up their gift-giving event to families from other public housing communities as well.
"We've turned into the North Pole," Tabar said at the time. "Our dedicated elves are working feverishly to get as many toys as possible to kids before Christmas."
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Local San Antonio supermarket chain H-E-B similarly matched $4,000 in donations, according to SAHA, which allowed staff members to deliver even more gifts for a holiday season that came amid a more than tumultuous year for many.
Tabar told CNN that the wide variety of support they received, and the swiftness with which residents gathered together to help, was nothing short of a "Christmas miracle."