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An Ohio community came together to grant some Christmas wishes for a grieving family.

Investigators are looking for “friends” of a 31-year-old Ohio woman who reportedly overdosed on heroin, leaving behind nine children. According to police, Jimetta Sanders was “left to die” in front of her children by “friends” who “stole her money” and claimed they would be returning with sodas for the kids, reported WKRC.

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Andre Sanders, the children’s father, was working and not at home.

“I’m in shock and disbelief. You never think that it’s going to happen to you until it actually happens,” he told WKRC. “My wife loved all of her kids. She was a proud mother, and she had a heart of gold. She would literally give you the shirt off her back.”

In their quest to find the father/son duo who reportedly left Sanders to perish while her kids watched, Middletown Police took to Facebook to plead for the public’s help in the search and to ask the public for donations, reported WHIO. The police officer’s post was shared over five thousand times.

The message, in part, reads:

It has disturbed us so much that it’s time for us to make a difference. Their father is a hard worker, he has tried to make ends meet but it’s a vicious cycle. Two veteran detectives who were emotionally impacted have worked all day to try and help this family. We will take anything you are willing to donate. We need clothing desperately, we need coats, blankets, food, a stove, a refrigerator, we even need ornaments for the Christmas tree we just took to them and of course toys. The kids range in age from 14 to 1.

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This family has touched our hearts and we want to help them. It’s not about our Facebook page, it’s not about “Likes”, it’s about pure human compassion. If you can help us out, please bring your donation here to the police department.

According to Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw, the response was “overwhelming” in the first hour after the post.

The community rallied around the family and filled a police department room nearly to the brim with bikes, clothes, blankets, food, games, and much more. According to the police department, nearly $15,000 has been collected for the family, with one woman donating $1,000 per each child.

Christabel is a twenty-something graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University. She's a big fan of writing, television, movies, general pop culture and complaining about how they've annoyed her. Long live the Oxford comma.
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