The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 27, 2012

A Christmas miracle happens after thievery

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer
The Stanly News & Press

Thursday, December 27, 2012 — This year for the first time in some while, Sara Cox decided to put up a tree in her house.

She purchased a small tree just to decorate and admire for herself. When she returned home she placed the tree behind her house, intending to move it in later that evening.

She left her house to run some errands and when she returned home after dark, the tree was missing.

“I didn’t have it under lock and key, but I didn’t think anyone would steal it,” Cox said.

“Before I got the chance to put it up somebody took it.”

Once the story of the stolen Christmas tree got out, somebody wanted to do something about it.

Lowe’s of Albemarle donated a six-foot-tall Christmas tree to Cox.

The managers at Lowe’s would not accept any money for the tree, instead doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

“A former employee of Lowe’s, one of her neighbors, told us about the stolen tree,” said Tommy Lockamy, assistant store manager at Lowe’s of Albemarle.

“It seemed like the right thing to do at this time of year. We do what we can to be a part of the community and help people out.”

David Springfield, Cox’s neighbor, was the one who spoke with the managers at Lowe’s.

“In the last month I have seen her [Sara] gather old bicycles for children for Christmas. I have watched her gather food, too,” he wrote in a note to The Stanly News & Press.

“Sara has lived in Albemarle all her life. She is what North Carolina spirit is all about.

“I was fortunate to be the one that delivered the tree.

“The funny thing is this: If someone had asked Sara for the tree, she would have given it to them and helped them decorate it, even wished them a merry Christmas.”

“I’m partial to Lowe’s. I don’t think the managers knew me. I think it’s a great thing what they did. I was thrilled. They didn’t have to do that,” Cox said.

Springfield relayed that Cox enjoyed the smell, lights and ornaments of a Christmas tree and that they reminded her of past Christmases and what the season is all about.

Thankfully, Cox will get to enjoy thoses sights and sounds this holiday season.