MESA, Ariz. - The Christmas spirit is alive and well in the east Valley.
It all began when vandals destroyed a holiday display recently in front of a home in Mesa. That's when neighbors went to work to make sure it came back to life.
For the last six years, Sandy Green has decorated her home for Halloween and Christmas. This year, in less than a couple of hours after putting her Christmas decorations up, they were destroyed.
"So they jumped out of a truck, came in our yard, tore some things up, jumped back in the truck and took off," Green said.
She and her family were shaken up after opening their front door and seeing hundreds of dollars worth of decorations completely ruined.
"I'm angered, disappointed, hurt. I guess you kind of feel almost like you've been violated because someone has destroyed your property," she said.
Once seeing the destruction, her neighbors stepped in to help, turning to social media by posting a call for action in their neighborhood Facebook group.
"What if we do something about it? What if we get donations of let's say, $5?" Shauna Day-Gomes said.
That very idea quickly spread and soon, dozens of neighbors wanted to lend a helping hand to the homeowners who they may have never met, but whose decorations always brightened everyone's holidays.
"I was just amazed that in two and a half days, we were able to collect $1,140 from 80 families in our community," Day-Gomes said. "That's just from a Facebook post."
And just like that, Green opened her front door once again to yet another surprise.
"Singing Christmas songs, caroling, and then we knocked at the door the children gave their cards first and then last I gave the card in name of our little community with the money inside," Day-Gomes said.
Green was moved, to say the least.
"I cried the whole time, and I’m not a crier, but I stood out here the whole time it was happening. I just couldn’t believe it and especially from somebody that she didn’t even know ..." Green said.
For now, Green says she and her family are already planning what decorations to buy and how to keep them safe during the next holiday season.
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