Mission Bay

Stranger Donates Christmas Gifts to Mom Whose Car Was Dumped Into Bay

Mary Jane Stewart kept her Christmas gifts in the trunk of her car because her kids were trying to get a peek. She never expected her car to wind up in Mission Bay

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A Chollas View woman whose gift-filled car was stolen and dumped into Mission Bay on Friday received a huge surprise just days before Christmas.

Mary Jane Stewart was devastated when her 2009 Ford Fusion, which was filled with Christmas gifts for her two daughters, was stolen from outside her Chollas View apartment Friday. Hours later, the car was found submerged in Mission Bay; the presents were gone.

Stewart shared her story with NBC7 and Tracy Simoncinn was watching.

"It tugged at my heartstrings. My mom raised three kids and I know the struggles she went through in trying to provide a Christmas for us," Simoncinn said.

She wanted to help. So she called Stewart and offered to replace all the stolen gifts.

On Monday, Simoncinn surprised Stewart's 5-year-old daughter, who was overjoyed by the good deed.

"To have someone come in and replenish what was taken and seeing her get so happy about it, there's nothing that can change and replace that," Stewart said.

Giving, especially during the holidays is not new for Simoncinn. She and her husband have donated to needy families for years. And even though her husband passed away two years ago, she wants to keep the tradition going.

“I'm getting joy by doing this and honoring him at the same time. So it's really a win-win for both of us," Simoncinn said.

Stewart said she's received multiple offers from strangers wanting to help out. She's turned down most of them and asked that donations be made to other families in need.

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