What could have been a disappointing Christmas for the Gamino family has turned into an overwhelming show of support from the community.
Last week, Brenda Gamino’s 1998 Acura Integra was stolen from her driveway in San Diego.
Inside the trunk, she had hidden about $400 worth of Christmas presents for her three children, ages 8, 10 and 12.
“I just hope whoever took it was in need of the car and was in an emergency,” said Gamino.
She posted a warning on the Nextdoor app to warn her neighbors about the theft.
10News spoke to her on Saturday and soon after, people began reaching out to see how they could help.
The Gale family in Santee heard about the theft and quickly gathered donations from friends, family and co-workers.
“I just wanted to do something,” said Paola Gale. “We’re not going to let the Grinch steal Christmas.”
On Monday night, the Gale family stopped by the Gamino residence to deliver the presents.
“Honestly, it’s unbelievable,” said Gamino about the donations to her family.
In addition to the Gale family’s presents, she said they have received gifts from random neighbors, got a shopping spree from Walmart and even had a car lent to them for three months.
As for the car, Gamino said it was found at a tow yard in El Cajon but she could not afford to pay more than $500 to get it out. Even if she could, she said it has no steering wheel and she would also have to pay for a tow truck to bring it to an auto body.