SACRAMENTO, CA - If it is indeed a hoax, it is a very cruel one.
Every year organizations like the Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center and the Volunteer Center of Sacramento look for donors to "adopt" a family-in-need for Christmas. Adopting a family means donating toys for the children, household items for Mom and Dad and food for that special Christmas meal.
The hardest families to find donors for are large families and ones with older teenage children. But this year a seemingly generous woman volunteered as soon as the gift drive started to take care of dozens of families for both organizations.
"We contacted her right away, and said, 'We hope you realize you have taken on a large commitment.' And she said, 'Yes, I understand and my family is very generous. We're going to take care of this,'" Volunteer Center of Sacramento's Cindee Reed recalled.
The donor chose some 21 families at the Volunteer Center and 26 at the Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center. But over and over again deadlines for delivery were missed. Until finally, the volunteer organizations realized the seemingly generous donor had no intention of following through with her promise.
Now, the news had to be broken to the families.
"Everyone I have spoken to so far has been a mother," Reed said. "And everyone of the mothers is in tears. The tears just immediately start running down their face."
News10's efforts to contact the woman who made the promises were unsuccessful; the organizations did not want her name released.
What they're hoping for now is that the community will help. With only a week to go before Christmas, however, time is running out.
To donate, you can contact the Volunteer Center of Sacramento at 916-567-3100 or visit their website at www.volunteersac.org.
The Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center can be reached at 916-454-2120. You can also visit their website at www.saehc.org
By Jonathan Mumm, firstname.lastname@example.org