Viewers stepped up to help after Valley mother's car is stolen, along with her children's Christmas gifts

A Valley mother has been left heartbroken just days before Christmas, but thanks to the help of FOX 10 viewers, the story has a good ending.

FOX 10 first reported on the plight of Shawniece Shariff on Dec. 23. Not only was her car stolen, but everything inside was also taken, including gifts she had just purchased for her kids.

"They bent my plate up so that the cops couldn't find it," said Shariff.

Shariff said thieves stole her car earlier in the week. While the car was later found in a secluded area of the neighborhood in Avondale, the gifts for her children, which were hiding in the car's trunk, remained missing.

"I had them all thrown in here with all my stuff. That's all I had, and they took it all out," said Shariff. "I've been hiding all of my kids' Christmas toys in the trunk because they'll open them all up if [the gifts are] inside."

The gifts would have brought a smile to Shariff's kids' faces.

"My daughter is girlie. She's 11 and she's into fashion, so I got her some soap and scents," said Shariff. "My son, it's his first Christmas. He's, like, nine months. I got him little toys that lights up."

While Shariff says she's thankful to have her only mode of transportation back, she was still trying to figure out how to tell her kids that Christmas is going to feel a lot different for 2020.

"It was quite a relief to get my car back, thankfully, but it's three days before Christmas. I don't get paid until next week, so it's kind of like stressful. A little crunch in between now and then," said Shariff. "It just sucks."

After Shariff's story aired on Dec. 23, viewers who saw FOX 10's story decided to act as Santa's helper, and dropped off presents for the kids. The family says it's not just the gifts, but the kind gestures that helped to restore their faith in the world.

If you would like to help Shariff and her family, you can email us at and put her name in the Subject line. We'll make sure she gets your information.

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