Family whose Christmas inflatables were stolen gets big dose of holiday spirit

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Jackie Winchester
Lisa and Michael (Credit: Lisa)

A south Fort Myers family who was visited by the Grinch is getting some help.

WINK News viewers who saw our story about the family’s stolen Christmas inflatables stepped up to help, putting a smile on a little boy’s face.

“It was amazing. He had such a smile on his face and we all did,” Lisa said after she learned of the outpouring of Christmas spirit. Lisa requested that WINK News not share the family’s last name for safety reasons.

We first told you about the theft on Tuesday after someone swiped six of their seven inflatables. Lisa loves to go all out with decorating for Christmas, and the seven inflatables were the highlight of her setup and the favorite of her 8-year-old son Michael, who is on the Autism Spectrum.

While his mom and dad, Vince, were upset, Michael was devastated.

“He’s very excited now; he’s very happy. Definitely seems like a different kid now,” Lisa said.

A different kid, a happy kid, because dozens of WINK News viewers reached out, offering to replace the stolen decorations so that Michael would know there is good in the world. You acted faster than Santa’s elves, delivering that Christmas cheer right away.

One of those elves was Guimmy Begani, of Naples.

“I’m so happy that I was able to do it, to help this family and change the boy’s expectations of people outside in this world,” Begani said.

“It was just an amazing feeling that, you know, we have some of our holiday decorations and holiday cheer back,” Lisa said.

What was once a blue Christmas is now merry and bright for the family.

“I want to thank WINK News for getting my story out there and bringing the community together to help me.”

Joining the elves in helping Michael’s Christmas wish come true was Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno and several of his deputies, who also dropped off new inflatables for the boy to enjoy.

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