Grinch steals holiday decorations from low-income housing

SEATTLE -- A paper reindeer and snowman stickers taped to the window greet tenants at the Lake City House, a low-income housing facility.

Dollar Store decorations are about all that's left after somebody stole Christmas trees and ornaments from the storage room.

"It's depressing," said resident Ellie Rhoades "It's like not to have Christmas."

The building houses the elderly, disabled, and residents who can't afford to replace the missing decorations that lit up their lobby. In the past they pooled together money they raised in yard sales and at coffee hour.

"If I can't make these people happy, if I can't show holiday spirit, it hurts me," Rhoades said with tears in her eyes.

Some residents said their neighbors are the only family and friends they have, and that a decorated entry helped them feel remembered at the holidays.

"You're not alone," said Deborah Kidd. "I'm a winter depression person. I was down but minute I started putting things up my spirit went back up."

But that didn't last long with the limited decorations. Rhoades reached out to the KOMO 4 Problem Solvers, who turned to Fred Meyer in Lake City for help. The store, located less than a block from the rentals, filled the wish for two 7-foot tall artificial trees in a flash.

The Problem Solvers rolled up to the Lake City House with two trees on board. The sight of the trees brought a sparkle to their eyes. Deborah Kidd clapped and shrieked, "You did it, you did it, you did it!"

The tenants would have found a way to be festive with their flocking and garland but now they'll have Christmas trees for their Christmas party.