'It's breathtaking': Community rallies for family whose car, presents were stolen

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Denise Slaughter was at a Fargo hospital, picking up her daughter after a procedure, and left her car to help roll the wheelchair out.

When she returned, the car was gone.

Christmas presents for her five children and six grandchildren were in there. And it's their only vehicle.

"I just don't understand why people have to go taking things, especially around Christmas time," she told WDAY.

Facing a difficult time, that daughter – 26-year-old Holly Harris – turned to the community for help.

And the community has responded.

"It's breathtaking," Harris told BringMeTheNews. "Overwhelming to know all these people in Fagro are so caring and loving, and to help us out."

Harris created a GoFundMe page for Slaughter and her father, Richard Harris, hoping to raise $10,000 to help them.

"She has such a big heart – extremely big heart," Harris said of her mother, a former nurse who became disabled while on the job six years ago. As for her father, he's "the supporter" – a caring man – and him being able to work is vital, so the theft of their only vehicle was a huge blow.

"I knew they needed a vehicle so my dad can make it to his job otherwise they will lose their home, food, they will be left with nothing. I thought I could try raising money for them because they would of done anything and everything for us kids," Harris wrote on GoFundMe.

Early Monday, the page had about $700 in donations.

By 4:30 p.m. that same day, it was up to more than $3,800.

"It's been tough, but after getting on the news, all these just wonderful people and their donations ... It's going to help out a lot and it's going to make our Christmas amazing," Holly Harris said.

With the money (the goal is $15,000), Harris said she hopes to get her parents another car so her father can keep working. And they hope to replace some of those stolen Christmas presents as well.

Denise Slaughter, in a reply to the GoFundMe page, wrote:

"I am truly overwhelmed and humbled by all this. ... May God bless you all each and everyone of you are AMAZING! Merry Christmas!"

Slaughter and Harris' car, by the way, is ruined.

WDAY reports it was destroyed after a high-speed chase with police near Detroit Lakes Dec. 15. Two people were booked in jail and could face felony charges.

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