Desperate people tend to do desperate things, but that doesn’t mean they’re beyond hope of redemption.
Timothy Vick, Sr. and his wife Angel Vick live in Seaford, Delaware with their kids. Tims’ youngest son Timmy is only five years old, but he’s already dealt with more than his share of hardship in his young life.
The child is on the autism spectrum, has a sensory processing disorder, and then, during routine physical exam last October, they discovered a tumor on his brain. While the tumor is thankfully not cancerous, it will require an expensive and scary surgery to remove. The family has been struggling to raise the funds for Timmy’s surgery while also keeping his spirits up.
The Vicks are huge fans of professional wrestling, and call their fandom “a family affair.” Timothy Sr. trades replica belts online as a hobby, so the family decided to save up and splurge on a WWE championship title belt to cheer Timmy up as he learned that he’d be going in for surgery.
Timothy and Angel reached out to belt designer Sergio Moreira in Washington state, who kindly offered to do the work for free when he heard about what Timmy is going through. “It’ll be as close to the original belt that he sees on TV every day than any other belt he could buy in the market,” Sergio explained.
Unfortunately, fate had other plans for the ornate belt. The package arrived safely from Delaware and was delivered to Sergio’s front porch as planned, but before he could retrieve it two “porch pirates” arrived and stole it in broad daylight.
Sergio’s Ring doorbell camera captured the heist on video, showing two women walking up from the sidewalk and stealing two FedEx packages from his doorstep.
“Then [they] walked away like it was no big deal, they acted as if they have done this a million times before which makes me sad to think of how many other people they have ripped off and how many packages they have stolen it breaks my heart because they have no idea who they are stealing from at all!!!!” Angel wrote on Facebook after she heard about the theft.
Angel uploaded the video of the robbery to Facebook and asked for the public’s help identifying the two women. Local media picked up the story, and before long the public outcry was deafening. It was bad enough that these two people stole at all, but to steal from a sick child seemed to add insult to injury.
“I want them to know they took hope from a 5-year-old boy who is looking forward to that item coming back to him,” Sergio told local news station KIRO7. “You stole that from him. You broke a child’s heart.”
Apparently, the thieves agreed. A few days after the theft the two women returned to Sergio’s home armed with both of the packages they’d stolen from him. They also brought along a four-page handwritten apology. With their heads hung low, both women apologized and explained that they are homeless and addicted to drugs, but they never intended to hurt so many people with their selfish actions.
“We are so sorry for taking your stuff. Never in a million years would I have stolen from a sick five-year-old myself and am ashamed of what I did,” the note read.
“They said they were homeless drug addicts and thought they could make a few extra dollars off of whatever was in the boxes,” Sergio recalled. “I could see the look on their faces, that they were very, very sad and they had been crying.”
Sergio felt compassion for the women, giving them a hug and telling them he would not press charges as long as they sought help for their addiction. “I don’t see any other way to do it because everybody has something in their lives they’re dealing with,” he said.
Then Sergio went to work making the belt look as realistic as possible and little Timmy finally got the amazing symbol of hope he needed.
But that wasn’t the only bright spot to this story. The whole experience caused the two thieves to turn their lives around.
“We never wanted to steal a child’s hope,” they said. “After seeing ourselves looking like low lives on the news, we have both decided to get clean and sober.”
We are so grateful that these women got the “wake-up call” they needed and hope that experiencing forgiveness guides them on the road to recovery. Share this sweet story of redemption today.