Stolen Christmas Violin Is Already Replaced

Rachelle Whitmire, on the left, holding the violin gifted to her by Chase Rocha, on the right. This violin was meant as a replacement for one stolen just prior to Christmas. (Photo provided by Debby Whitmire.)

“We have seen in less than 24 hours a real outpouring of support from this community,” Debby Whitmire said delightedly. Yet, just a two days ago she was in tears of despair over someone’s criminal behavior.

Yesterday, LoCO featured the story of a present, intended for Whitmire’s 16-year-old daughter, taken just before Christmas morning. The gift had been hidden in the trunk of Whitmire’s car because the distinctive shape–it was a violin–would have let the girl know what was in store for her if it had been under the tree. But, when Whitmire’s daughter, Rachelle, opened the trunk Christmas morning, the instrument was gone.

However, by tonight, less than 10 hours after LoCO published the story, thanks to the generosity of Chase Rocha who works at Nilsen Feed, Rachelle was holding another violin. Going above and beyond, Rocha had brought the violin (which he used to play) and his former music books wrapped in gift paper. Above is a photo of the recipient and donor with the instrument.

Rocha’s offer, though the first, wasn’t the only offer Rachelle received. At least two other people volunteered to donate instruments. One, who wrote to LoCO explained, “Read the article about the poor girl [whose] Christmas was ruined by some punk who stole her violin.  I would like to give her mine.”

Another woman offered to donate a violin also. Just as this story was about to be published, one of LoCO’s commenters set up a fundraising page so the instrument could be replaced. (It was, of course, taken down as it was no longer needed.)

Debby Whitmire was very touched by the kindness. She was moved to tears by all the offers to help. “This was such an incredibly lovely lesson for our girls.” Some terrible stuff happens sometimes, she said, but then there are the good people.

In spite of crime or bad news, she says, “There is really a heart in this community.”

*An earlier edition of this post spelled Nilsen incorrectly.

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