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Single mom whose van was stolen gets an outpouring of generosity

Sharon McGregor and Karlene Petitt share a huge after Petitt gave her the SUV. (Photo: KOMO News)

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- A Marysville mom received an unexpected show of generosity from a stranger who saw her story on KOMO News and was determined to help.

Sharon McGregor shared her story with KOMO News on Monday after her van was stolen from her Marysville home over the weekend with all of her kid's car seats and Christmas presents inside.

McGregor, who is a single mom with four boys, has car insurance but it doesn't cover theft. She can't afford to buy a new car so she shared her story hoping the thieves might return the vehicle.

When KOMO News viewer Karlene Petitt saw the story she immediately tried to contact McGregor-- Petitt wanted to donate her Chevy Suburban to the family in need.

"We're watching on the news and saw that and I go, 'We need to donate that car. I need to find her and see if she can use it, '" recalled Karlene Petitt.

Petitt purchased the Suburban 21 years ago and refers to it as "The Beast" because of its large size, The SUV has about 239,000 miles, but Petitt said it still runs well and has always gotten her family safely to their destinations.

"It's just hard for me to let it go -- all the memories with the kids and the travels, and it's just taken good care of us. It's one of those things that feels like it's part of the family," said Petitt.

Petitt and her husband decided a few days ago to trade in the SUV for a new one, but after hearing McGregor's story she decided to just give it away.

"I wanted to give her a sense of hope. It's not the end of the world," said Petitt who is a pilot and author.

On Tuesday, McGregor and Petitt met at a dealership where Petitt handed over the keys.

"Thank you," said a tearful McGregor to Petitt. "You gotta have a good heart. I have a good heart. I try to help everybody so it's hard to take it back. I appreciate it."

Since the car theft, McGregor has gotten an outpouring of support but she never expected this kind of generosity from a stranger.

"She's got a good heart. Some people (saw) the story, and they're like 'She wants a handout' but she saw it and was like 'This is what I need to do' so I appreciate it," said McGregor.

McGregor said after she connected with Petitt another man offered to help replace her stolen van. As of Thursday, McGregor has received nearly $4,000 through a Go Fund Me campaign.

"There's good people out there still, and I'm going to pay it forward any chance I get. I'm going to pay it forward," said McGregor.

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