BY DAVID O’CONNOR
You couldn’t find nicer people than Nate and Shandra Stoner, says an appreciative Trinity Mendenhall of Willow Street.
Shandra Stoner coaches Mendenhall’s daughter for the Penn Manor Strikers youth soccer team, volunteering her time “just because she’s a nice person,” Mendenhall says.
So everyone who knows the Stoners was shocked to learn that someone burglarized their Washington Boro home the day after Christmas.
The family of six came home and found hundreds of dollars in gifts missing, including a Keurig coffeemaker, a George Foreman grill, their kids’ backpacks and even some toiletry items.
But Mendenhall and her friend since their days at Solanco’s Swift Middle School, Jasmine Grimm, are teaming up to help restore the Stoner family’s Christmas.
On Saturday, they delivered hundreds of dollars worth of gifts to the Stoners to give back the Christmas that was stolen.
The delivery was in addition to help from others who have already replaced some of the things that were taken.
“It has been a very humbling — and almost embarrassing — thing to be the receivers of people’s gifts,” Shandra Stoner said.
Nate Stoner said he was touched that, in may cases, people went out of their way to replace the exact items that were taken.
As Grimm said, “Insurance will cover many things, but who in the community has gifts they can offer to help restore their peace of mind?”
Mendenhall works for her in-laws’ business, R&K Stoner Logistics Inc. of Peach Bottom, while Grimm two years ago founded Ruby Inc., a small business that helps women “edit” their closets to build a wardrobe that enhances their body build, size, age and weight.
Grimm notes that “you really don’t lose anything by doing something kind for somebody.
“And if you can keep your candle lit, and light somebody else’s, it’s a much better place. So why not just go and do it?”
Others, including local business people and an area pastor, also have stepped in and made donations.
“I guess I really can’t comprehend … why someone would steal children’s backpacks,”Mendenhall adds.
The two women organizing the effort for the Stoners graduated together from Solanco in 2001.
Grimm remembers Mendenhall helping her through some tough times she faced and hopes the Stoners are feeling the same way she did.
“To have somebody do something for me, it was humbling, but more than that, it really lets you know there are still some really great people in the world,” Grimm recalls.
Staff writer Chad Umble contributed to this report.
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