Burglary victim says it's her turn to give
Dozens of people have inundated the North Bellport family who had their home burglarized last week with gifts, saving Christmas for a single mom and her two young children.
Cheri Sabolenko said Saturday that people have dropped off what she estimates to be $10,000 in money, televisions and gift cards at Habitat for Humanity after news reports publicized her plight. The organization built her home last year.
Now, Sabolenko said, it's her turn to give. She said she has asked Habitat to donate about half of what she's received to other single mothers, including some to help Habitat homeowners pay their mortgages.
"I just want to thank everybody for their support, and I want people to know that I'm paying it forward," she said Saturday.
The family's Christmas had seemed ruined last Sunday morning when Sabolenko and her children returned home after spending the night at a hotel with a pool to celebrate her daughter Madison's 12th birthday. They discovered that someone had stolen the presents Sabolenko had placed under her Christmas tree or hidden in the closets, as well as the family's laptops, jewelry, televisions and other valuables. Her sink had also been stopped up and the faucet left running, flooding the kitchen.