Community Steps Up After Money Stolen From Brooklyn Donation Box

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Connecticut State Police are asking for help finding the person responsible for breaking into and stealing from a donation box in Brooklyn set up to collect for charity. 

Every year for the past 12 years, the Lambert family set up an animated holiday light display at their home in Brooklyn. The family dubbed the show the "Quiet Corner Christmas Lights" and they work together to program and set the lights up to music for all to enjoy. 

"It is my love," said Chris Lambert, the mastermind behind all of the lights. "My wife did not really understand exactly what we were getting into."

Lambert's wife, Joanne, did have an idea though to make the lights mean a little bit more. Along with the thousands of lights and dozens of extension cords, the family sets up a donation box every year at the end of their driveway. The Lamberts decide to help a different charity from year to year. 

This season's donations are going to Camp Quinebaug in Danielson. The camp is for children living with disabilities. According to police, the camp is hoping to use the money collected to purchase more adaptive equipment for kids. 

"It is the most heartwarming experience that you could ever have," said Joanne Lambert. 

When the family awoke on Christmas morning they noticed the donation box was broken. The money inside was gone. 

"All of our hearts sank. It is like Christmas just kind of left," said Lambert. 

The family did not have the supplies to fix the donation box by that evening. They decided to cancel their collections for Christmas night, which is historically their busiest night. 

It did not take long for word to spread. As soon as Steve Clifford got wind of the break-in, he decided to help. 

"I know these guys do this every year selflessly for the community," said Clifford. "The least I could do is fix the door." 

Clifford and his stepchildren put Christmas on pause. They traveled to the Lamberts' home several times to get supplies and measurements. By the end of the night the donation box was working and overflowing. According to Chris Lambert, the family has raised about $2,500 for Camp Q.

"Turning this horrible act into something really beautiful," said Lambert. "And on Christmas, it was really bringing forth the Christmas spirit." 

State police ask that anyone with information on the donation box break-in calls 860-779-4900. 

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