“Thank you!” Two words have never meant so much to the staff of a Spalding hair salon who had their Poppy Appeal collection box stolen.
After showing “bulldog spirit” to fight back with a new appeal, they can now report a staggering total of more than £262.
Readers who saw the front page article in Thursday’s Spalding Guardian have dug deep in their pockets to help make up for what was lost when “low-life scum” jimmied the door of the Dad’ll Have A Grumble hair salon last Saturday night and snatched the collection box.
Michelle Lawson, who runs the family business in Victoria Street, put a poster in the window urging passers-by to “Please buy your poppies here!”
She said: “We wanted to sell every single poppy to show that despite the thief’s disgusting efforts we had the best collection ever.”
On Friday, the Free Press was able to pop in with the good news that a £100 donation was on its way to them from the South Lincolnshire Gas Company.
Mrs Lawson said: “We’ve been bowled over by people’s generosity since the article.
“One man came in and said ‘I’ve come in for a Mohican’ and then laughed and got his wallet out and said he wanted to help us make up for what was stolen.
“All sorts of people have been popping in – families walking by and pensioners who said they didn’t have a lot but wanted to help.
“We’ve even had children coming off the street and giving us their 20ps.
“The South Lincolnshire Gas Company came in with their £100 on Saturday. They had heard about the burglary and thought it was disgusting – people have been amazing.
“It’s really brought out the spirit of what this appeal is all about.
“I’ve thought a lot about the person who robbed us – that maybe their lives hadn’t been touched by the meaning of the Poppy Appeal.
“But the same goes for the children who have come in to give us their pennies. It is all part of their history.
“Being burgled was horrible but now something good has come out of something bad. We want people to know how grateful we are.”
Peter Lyon, Poppy Appeal organiser, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful. This reinforces what the appeal is all about. It makes me proud to be British.
“We support the underdog and this restores my faith in human nature.”