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Worcester Community Raises $3,000 In Hours To Replace 5-Year-Old Girl's Stolen Wheelchair

WORCESTER (CBS) – Donations from the community helped a Worcester family replace a wheelchair-style stroller belonging to a 5-year-old girl with special needs after it was stolen from her front porch last month.

Quan Nguyen was getting 5-year-old Ariel ready for school on March 8 and left the chair outside for about 40 minutes. When he came out to put her in and get her on the bus, the chair was gone.

Ariel relies on the chair daily. It's worth around $2,800.

"It just struck me. Who could possibly do this to a little kid? I said 'Something has to be done,'" Andrea Castinetti from the Kindness Coalition of Massachusetts said.

Castinetti set up an online fundraiser after seeing police post about the theft. Within three hours, she had raised $3,000.

"It just restores my faith in humanity," Castinetti said.

Kelly Edmonston, Ariel's teacher, was able to order the new custom-made stroller that night. On Monday, she was with Castinetti to donate it to the Nguyen family.

Edmonston said they were able to get the new stroller within four weeks because of the donations, rather than going through the insurance process, which can take up to six months.

"I can't believe it. I don't know what people were thinking. That stroller is for a special kid who needed it. I just ask why?" said Kristy Nguyen. "We are so fortunate the community helped us."

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