A California teen was in danger of missing out on one of the most important events in her young life after thieves broke into her home and stole the money she was saving for her 15th birthday party. Fortunately, a local police department came to her rescue by raising money so the girl could have her special day.
As KTXL (Sacramento) reports, Leonela Osuna had some money put back about $2,000 for her upcoming birthday party. Some time Tuesday, while the teen was at school and her parents were at work, thieves kicked down the door to their home and stole whatever they could get their hands on – laptops, jewelry, and the cash Leonela had put away in a dresser drawer.
The California teen had been saving up for her Quinceanera – that is, her 15th birthday party. The Quinceanera, according to Quinceanera Botique, celebrates a young woman’s coming of age in some Latino cultures.
“The Quinceanera tradition celebrates the young girl (la Quinceanera), and recognizes her journey from childhood to maturity. The customs highlight God, family, friends, music, food, and dance.”
And in some Latino families, it’s not just a 15th birthday party; it’s a HUGE deal. Banquet halls are rented, caterers and musicians are hired, fancy dresses are fitted and bought. That’s why the Modesto teen had $2,000 put back for her birthday party.
Unfortunately, the young lady was going to have to miss out on what would have been the most important day of her young life. That is, until Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies heard her story.
The Modesto Bee reports that the Sheriff’s Office has a special program in place for just this type of situation; that is, putting some money back into the communities they protect and serve, through fundraising. Deputy Barry Ballance explains:
“Our K9 Association has helped families in the past. The members put out a request, and usually it gets passed.”
The deputies, along with friends in other division in the Sheriff’s Department, managed to scrape together about $1,500 – almost three quarters of what was stolen from the California teen.
“When I handed her the money, both mother and daughter started crying.”
Leonela, who lives in one of Modesto’s toughest neighborhoods, says that the experience has helped her develop an appreciation for the police.
“I appreciate the police now that I know they would do that for someone. Thank you.”
Officer Ballance will be a guest of honor at the California teen’s birthday party, when she celebrates her quinceanera August 8.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Gema Duran]