A family who thought their Christmas had been wrecked after heartless burglars stole all their Christmas presents have had their faith in humanity restored by kind neighbours.
Mum Suzie Purvis was devastated when she discovered thieves had broken into her garage and helped themselves to gifts.
But after word of the break-in spread, dozens of people – including strangers – sent them so many gifts that their living room was packed on Christmas morning, Chronicle Live reports.
As it turned out, her sons, Theo, four, and Jude, two, ended up being given a large number of presents and had a magical day.
Suzie was so overwhelmed with the generosity her neighbours showed that she has now decided to give the extra presents to charity.
Suzie, of Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland, said: "I can’t even begin to thank all those people who came forward and gave us presents.
"We went from being heartbroken on Christmas Eve to absolutely overwhelmed the next morning.
"People were sending us gifts all evening. It got to a point where I had to tell them there was no more room in my living room."
Just a few hours before, Suzie had been distraught after she discovered their garage had been broken into.
She had kept all her gifts, including toys for her children, wrapped up in the garage. However, at around 7pm on December 24, she found they had all gone.
The 27-year-old, a midwife, said: "The garage is about 10m away from our house and I went to get all the presents in so the children could open them the next morning.
"When I opened the garage, there was nothing there. Everything had gone. It took me about 10 seconds to realise someone had broken in and taken them all. The only thing left was a box of Jaffa Cakes.
"They took the toys I had got for my children as well as gifts for friends and family. There were clothes, selection boxes, little stocking fillers and other presents.
"I didn’t know what to do."
Suzie told family and friends what had happened, and rang the police. Messages were also put on Facebook and soon people started to send gifts.
"A group of friends started organising presents," said Suzie. "Then friends of friends and their families joined in as well, and we started getting gifts from so many people, even strangers.
"People were sending toys, electronic items, Xboxes, bikes, scooters, chocolates, and lots of other things the whole evening and past midnight. People were still messaging me into the early hours. It was absolutely jam-packed here. I was totally overwhelmed by the generosity.
"And the boys had a magical morning. To see their little faces when they got up – it brought me to tears. It was very emotional.
"We thought our Christmas was ruined but all these people came to save our Christmas and it made it all the more special for us.
"It was just incredible and I want to say thank you to every single person who brought us gifts."
Now Suzie has decided to give away all the extra presents.
The food items will go to foodbanks and the remaining gifts will be donated to children’s wards at Sunderland Royal Hospital and the University Hospital of North Durham.
At this stage, it is not clear when the burglary took place. It could have been around a week before Christmas Eve.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: "At 7.14pm on Monday, police received a report of a burglary on Shaftsbury Park in Hetton-le-Hole.
"Officers attended the scene where unknown offenders had gained entry to a garage and stolen a number of items including toys and clothes.
"Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 895 24/12/18."
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