Dec 24, 2012 11:48 PM by Rebecca Taylor

Strangers save Christmas for local family

TUCSON - A Tucson family had their home broken into Saturday night and lost everything under the Christmas tree.

Four kids and no presents?

This holiday was looking bleak, until the responding police officers turned everything around.

Through word of mouth and social media, officers with the Tucson Police Department raised hundreds of dollars for the family.

A trip to Target was made possible by donations from strangers, helping save Christmas.

From clothing, to toys, cozy blankets and electronics, Tiffany Eppstein has four kids to shop for. Ages 2 thru 16.

On Saturday night while the family enjoyed Winterhaven, burglars took advantage.

"We noticed our back door was open, and the first thing my husband said was, where's all of our Christmas presents," describes Eppstein. "We tried to explain to our kids that we may not have a Christmas this year."

That's where Officer Tracy Kranz comes in.

"Being that I have two small kids of my own, and how important Christmas is to the family I said, hey I can pass this on," says Krantz. "On my Facebook page 90 percent of my friends are within the department. So I shared it."

Within 24 hours donations from fellow officers came pouring in.

"I have a backseat full of toys and we collected $620 in cash from department members to contribute to this family, so they can have a good Christmas with their children," said Kranz.

At checkout Eppstein gave Officer Kranz a big hug.

The compassion Eppstein says is beyond anything she's felt, "you gave my family, and my kids Christmas back."

Eppstein who works as a hair stylist says her co-workers, clients and neighbors also stepped up.

As a precaution against thieves, the presents won't go under the tree Christmas Eve. But Santa will deliver by morning says Eppstein.


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