A local third grade teacher who had school supplies stolen from her front porch is sending a big thank you to the community for stepping in with generous donations.
Audrey Webber teaches at the Harmony School of Excellence.
She said whenever she wants to do something for her students, she just goes for it.
“There are a lot of programs we have that have noise or reads to the students,” Webber said. “If the students didn’t have headphones, it would sound like chaos in the room. I have a class of kids.”
Webber said that is when she took it upon herself to order headphones for each of her students.
“That way they can focus and not be distracted by their neighbors who are sitting right next to them,” she said. “I wasn’t about to ask the parents to get the headphones for the school year. That is not my style.”
On January 7, she was notified that her package had been delivered.
“When I got the notification on my phone that it had been delivered, I was like, ‘Yay!’ They even put a picture of where they put it but when I got home it wasn’t here.”
After realizing her neighbors hadn’t seen or moved her package, Webber took to her Nextdoor app for three reasons.
“I wanted my immediate neighbors to know this is happening now,” Webber said. “Number two, I was being snarky, and number three, I wanted the people. If it was someone in the neighborhood that took it, I wanted them to know, ‘You didn’t steal from me. You stole from kids and shame on you!”
Webber said after she posted, she began getting several responses from people wanting to help.
Amazon even stepped in and helped refund her money so she could get more headphones.
“I told people that I was all good and that everything worked out, and I still kept getting responses from people who were saying they wanted to help anyways,” Webber said. “I was hesitant at first but then I put my Amazon wish list because I thought, this was for my students. Not for me.”
She said she received over 100 responses.
“I don’t know how to affectively thank these people,” she said. “This was something bad and look what it turned into. I never expected people to read this message much less, say, ‘We can all help.’ Someone even posted, ‘Let the community help but spelled community with a capital UNITY so I thought that was nice.”
Webber received pencils, color paper, journals and more.
She said she wants porch pirates to know one thing.
“You never know what you are taking and you never know who you are taking it from,” she said. “You might be taking something that someone really depends on. It could really cause them some damage and that makes me sad that some people think that is ok to do.”
Webber also said she can’t thank her community and neighbors enough.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart is not enough,” she said. “I don’t know what else I can say. It is amazing. I am going to sit here and start crying. It is amazing.”
Webber said she wants this experience to be a life lesson to her students.
“Even though something bad happens, something good can always come from it,” Webber said. “This was bad but the bad was this ‘big.’ And the good that came from this amount of bad is just huge!”
Webber said the school supplies are helping more than just her classroom. They are helping the entire district.