CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - “The Grinch will not steal Christmas on our watch. Not this year, buddy!” said Veronica Howard.
“Grinches” broke into the home of Aniya Day-Garrett’s father. The thieves broke windows and doors. They also went to the girl’s old bedroom, stealing more than 100 toys and cash that were donated to her foundation, which was going to be handed out to needy children later in December.
Aniya died in March from blunt force trauma to her head. Her mother and her mother’s boyfriend have been charged in her death.
“We decided to come together as organizations to do something for the community and with Aniya’s dad,” said Cornelius Bogard.
Bogard came together with other community partners, along with Toys for Tots to make sure no kid went without a toy.
“That is a major impact, not just on his life and what he was doing because of his daughter, the good that he was trying to give back to the community and the children around him, but it almost impacts the families. I don’t think the individual who did this completely realizes,” said Staff Sergeant Christopher Sprouse with Toys for Tots.
“I was not expecting this! I’m truly forever grateful,” said Aniya’s dad, Mickhal Garrett.
Garrett says he is overwhelmed by the love and support from the community. “It is truly a blessing to work with other organizations, reaching out to the Justice for Aniya foundation and just protecting our children,” Garrett said.
On Dec. 22, a toy give-away with Toys for Tots and breakfast with Santa is planned from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Mt. Sinai Church in Cleveland.