Donations pour in after coats for kids stolen off Northern Liberties steps

NORTHERN LIBERTIES (WPVI) -- What started as a search for a package thief in Northern Liberties has ended in a heartwarming show of support.

"It's just totally overwhelming and really exciting," said Danielle Scheffey of Northern Liberties.

Danielle Scheffey wasn't sure she'd be able to delivery dozens of winter coats for students at G.W. Childs Elementary School.

"About 105," said Scheffey, more than doubling her initial goal of 50 coats.

She began collecting them after her friend, a teacher at Childs, told her several students didn't have warm clothes.

But her coat drive hit a snag earlier this week when a thief made off with several packages of donations that had just been delivered to Scheffey's front porch in Northern Liberties.

After Action News aired surveillance video of the theft and Scheffey asked for help, donations started pouring in from across the city and suburbs.

"I had people messaging me on Facebook from all over the city. A lot of people from Northern Liberties, some people from outside the city that'd actually driven over an hour in to make donations," said Scheffey. "People just felt really compelled to help."

Now Scheffey has collected twice as many as she had planned. The generosity of her fellow Philadelphians warming her heart and children in need.

"Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love, and I think sometimes we get a bad rap, but I think you can really see from something like this where there are people are in need, people really do step up to help," said Scheffey. "We have a lot of love to give in Philly."

Philadelphia police say they arrested the suspected thief when he tried to strike again at another home in the neighborhood.
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