Just two days before Christmas, a precious little boy endured the harrowing experience of being abandoned in a snowy cemetery. Though the boy was surely terrified, he had no idea just how much the community would be moved to rally around him and give him the Christmas every child deserves.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, a 3-year-old boy and his dog were left at Hope Memorial Garden Cemetery in Hinckley, Ohio. A witness who immediately called 911 said they saw the boy, left in the cold without any shoes on his feet, chasing after the car and the yet unidentified driver that had abandoned him.
The witness, who had thankfully noticed the little boy after the driver who abandoned him sped off, stayed with him until police arrived. The boy was able to tell Hinckley Police Department officers that his name was Tony, as well as the first names of his parents, but he did not know his last name.
The Hinckley PD swiftly brought little Tony back to the station where he was provided with dry clothes and a meal while they posted his photo on their Facebook page and sought help identifying him.
The people of Hinckley and Medina County showed up big for Tony when news of his heartbreaking abandonment got out.
Swarms of folks asked to bless the little guy with Christmas presents, while others even offered to adopt him. In a statement to local station WEWS-TV, Hinckley Police Chief David Centner even offered to take Tony in himself.
“My wife and I have already told children’s services…we will welcome him into our home,” Centner said. “We’ve got 14 grandkids and a big house and plenty of room and love for him.”
The department proceeded to let the community know that they could drop off Christmas gifts for Tony at the police station. A day later, an entire room full of gifts had been dropped off.
Chief Centner wrote:
“From all of us at HPD we want to thank everyone for your kindness, thoughts, prayers and overwhelming love. Our lobby is full from the gifts that have been dropped off. I reached out to my friend Santa and tomorrow morning after he has finished his deliveries he is going to stop at HPD. We are going to load the sleigh and make on final stop to see our little friend.”
Thankfully, according to the Beacon Journal, a relative of the boy recognized him in the photo and notified Tony’s father. Tony was even reunited with his dog, who was found running around the cemetery where they were left and was safely captured.
Centner stated that Tony’s father, with whom he is now happily reunited, was in no way connected to his horrific abandonment.
“I spoke with his father this morning and he expressed his appreciation to everyone for their generosity and said Tony is doing very well,” he said. “I want to make it clear that the father was in no way involved with this incident and has been extremely cooperative with HPD and Children Services.”
“The mother is the focus of our investigation and is currently in the care of a local medical facility,” Centner went on. “We are working with the Municipal Law Director as to charges upon her release. I am not releasing her name until the time she is formally charged.”
Praise God for His clear hand in this little boy’s safety!
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