Community saves Christmas for Cheney family whose van was stolen - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Community saves Christmas for Cheney family whose van was stolen

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CHENEY, Wash. -

A local couple felt hopeless after their family van was stolen. The Christmas presents they had been saving for, for months were inside. The presents mostly consisted of winter clothing to ensure their children were warm this winter.

KHQ told you about the Apodaca family on Monday. Our community was so heartbroken by what they went through, donations started rolling out. Spokane refused to let thieves steal Christmas from this hardworking family.

The van was stolen just after the father had gotten done buying everything on their list. He tried to conceal the presents and locked the van when he briefly stopped to have lunch with a family member. When he came out, the van was gone. He works the graveyard shift doing snow removal in Spokane Valley. Because the family no longer has a way from him to get to and from work, he must stay away with over family members closer to work.  

The details tugged at our viewers heartstrings. The majority of donors refused to give their names, saying they weren't doing it for the recognition. It took some begging, but KHQ's Hayley Guenthner finally got one viewer who donated to tell her why he did it.

"I've been in similar situations," said Jerry Nichols. "I've been there. I know. I’m never going to be a rich guy, but I just had (the extra money.)"

Tuesday, Hayley got to surprise the Apodaca family with the donations from KHQ viewers. Rebecca Apodaca was shaking, crying happy tears.

"Spokane seriously has guardian angels," she said.

The family's stolen van was found, stripped and undriveable. The presents were long gone. Another viewer has offered to donate them a used a car. The family and that generous viewer are sorting out the details. 

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