Gift Guides, Events and Holiday Cheer

Grinch Didn't Steal This Christmas: Jingle Bash Goes on as Planned

By Janet Zappala and Melissa Pamer
|  Thursday, Nov 21, 2013  |  Updated 12:05 PM PDT
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Toys that were going to be passed out at a nonprofit's event for underprivileged children were stolen, but donors replaced the gifts and the party went on. Janet Zappala reports from View Park-Windsor Hills for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2012.

Janet Zappala

Toys that were going to be passed out at a nonprofit's event for underprivileged children were stolen, but donors replaced the gifts and the party went on. Janet Zappala reports from View Park-Windsor Hills for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2012.

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Grinch Strikes at Non-Profit Group

Bags full of Christmas gifts from nonprofit An Open Door were swiped from a garage sometime Wednesday or Thursday. The presents were to be handed out at a charity event Saturday, but now volunteers are scrambling to replace them. Janet Kwak reports from South Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2012.
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Christmas wasn't stolen by a Grinch after all for some 200 underprivileged children, after donors came through in time to replace stolen gifts before a Saturday holiday party.

The 10th annual "Jingle Bash," held by nonprofit An Open Door, went ahead as planned after a devastating discovery this week: Thieves had taken dozens of bags of gifts intended for needy kids.

But after the loss was reported by Los Angeles news media, donors stepped up.

The California Highway Patrol and Toys for Tots not only replaced the toys, they brought in even more than An Open Door founder Makeda Murray had originally had stashed in her garage.

One individual even came by with 60 board games on Saturday, when An Open Door held its party for some 200 children at Angeles Mesa Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles' View Park-Windsor Hills area.

Children posed with Santa, played bingo, ate cake and got their faces painted. And they all got presents.

The toys were stolen earlier this week from Murray's Marina del Rey garage.

"I was devastated. I didn't know what to do – the party was going to be in a day and a half," Murray said. "When people heard what happened, they got involved."

At Saturday's event, there were hundreds of presents, plus so much clothing and shoes that An Open Door will donate the surplus to an orphanage in Mexico.

The organization was founded by Murray when she wanted to help her LA public elementary school students.

"I was inspired by their tenacity ... and genuine love," Murray said.

To support An Open Door, go to the organization's website.

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