A family has been left in tears after the community of Boston clubbed together to get a little boy a new iPad after his was stolen on Christmas Eve.
Mum Ellicia-Jayne Elding had been saving all year to buy her son, four-year-old Leyland Middleton, his present and had presented him with it on Christmas Eve so he could take it with him to his dad’s.
Leyland took his extra-special present with him, but while the family was out of the room it is thought the offender/offenders entered the property on Jubilee Avenue, in Boston, grabbed alcohol and the iPad from a kitchen table and then left.
Sadly, it wasn’t until Christmas morning poor Leyland and his family discovered the present had gone missing.
“He was heartbroken – he’s wanted one for two years. He kept telling me he wanted a ‘big boy present’,” said Ellicia. “I’d saved for the whole year.”
Ellicia took to Facebook that evening to call-out to people to report the theft and call out the ‘evil, pathetic, low-life’.
The post was spotted by family friend Amy Mitchell, who was so touched by the incident, she decided to help.
She said: “I saw the appeal by his mum on Facebook and the look on his face broke my heart. We seem to get a lot of this going on at the minute with things going missing or stolen so I thought I’d just set up a justgiving page.”
“When I saw the little boy was heartbroken I wanted to go out and buy the iPad myself, but as it was Christmas we couldn’t do that.”
Within just a few hours the appeal had raised £168 from members of the Boston, and Skegness, communities and a replacement iPad was then donated by Robert Britton, which meant Amy immediately closed the appeal.
The iPad was presented to Leyland last week with a note which said: “Santa was told how sad you are for not getting an iPad, so here you go. Lots of love, the People of Boston.”
The rest of the money will also be presented to him later this month to buy some extra special toys.
“I was crying, I’m crying now talking about,” said Ellicia. The whole family is so overwhelmed and emotional. I did not realise people would club together like that.
“The theft ruined his Christmas day and they made it so much better for us.”
Amy added: “Boston gets a lot of stick and criticised a lot but it doesn’t matter what you say about the town, the community is number one and you wouldn’t find a better community.
“Also most of the people that donated didn’t even know the little boy so that is really sweet too.”
Lincolnshire Police have confirmed the theft had been reported to them and that they were investigating.
A spokesman confirmed the theft of the iPad, along with two crates of beer and a Christmas card.
A spokesman said : “It is heart-warming to hear that the local community are pulling together to make sure this little boy gets his present.
“Our Criminal Investigation Department are investigating and we would urge anyone with information to come forward please.”
Anyone with information should call 101 or report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.