Worcester

After 5-Year-Old's Wheelchair Stroller Is Stolen, Donations Pour in for Replacement

Five-year-old Ariel Nguyen of Worcester, Massachusetts, can't take a bus to her school without her wheelchair stroller; when her teacher learned it was stolen, she reached out to Andrea Castinetti, president of the Kindness Coalition of Massachusetts, and an online fundraiser for her has surpassed its goal

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After a wheelchair stroller was recently stolen from a young child in Worcester, Massachusetts, her teacher reached out for help.

Five-year-old Ariel Nguyen is curious and friendly. Her father says he doesn't understand why someone stole her wheelchair stroller last week.

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"Every day, I prepare her for school, and then my aunt rolled her stroller out just ahead of time before the bus arrived, and when the bus arrived, I just went out there, and it was missing," Quan Nguyen said.

The bus isn't able to take Ariel to school without it.

"Devastated at the time," her father said. "How could people, such people, stole what I needed the most?"

Ariel's teacher got in touch with Andrea Castinetti, president of the nonprofit Kindness Coalition of Massachusetts.

"Who does this to a little child?" Castinetti asked. "There's no way you didn't know that this was a little girl or little boy's stroller."

She created an online fundraiser, and within hours, it surpassed its goal, raising more than $3,000 to replace the stolen wheelchair stroller.

"It was really overwhelming," Castinetti said. "The amount of people that came together in such a short amount of time, it really restores your faith in humanity."

The donation saves Ariel's family the process of trying to get it replaced by insurance, which could take months.

"It surprised me, and joyful at the same time," Quan Nguyen said. "There are kind people out there, that many."

For now, Ariel is getting around on a borrowed wheelchair stroller from her school. Her new one is expected to be delivered to the family by the end of the week.

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