December 10, 2013


Burglary prompts girl to donate savings

7-year-old insists on giving her $18.69 to Anderson’s Farm Market

Staff Reporter

LITTLE YORK — A 7-year-old girl gave Bill Anderson’s Farm Market the contents of her piggy bank Friday to help defray the losses from a recent burglary at the Route 281 store.
Lauren Mott, whose parents are regular customers, went to the farm market with her father Friday, walked up to the register and pulled owner Bill Anderson aside.
The city girl held out a plastic bag full of coins and a few dollars, Anderson said.
“She said, ‘I would like you to have this,” Anderson said. Ignoring his protests, she insisted he take her savings, telling Anderson “Right now you need this more than I do.”
“He wasn’t sure at first, but I insisted,” Mott, a second-grader at Barry Elementary School, said on Monday.
The $18.69 was all the money she had in her piggy bank, Anderson later wrote on Facebook on Friday.
While the money won’t go very far to erase the monetary loss — damage to the store is estimated at between $1,800 and $1,900 and an undisclosed, substantial sum of cash was stolen — it did go miles in restoring Anderson’s faith.
In a Friday post on the farm market’s Facebook page, Anderson wrote, “To this sweet young girl, you know who you are, please know that the $18.69 that you shared with us tonight was just like getting a million dollars.”
Anderson described the moment Monday as “pretty emotional.”
“It really restored my hope in humanity after the break-in and everything,” he said. “It was just so encouraging. It just made my day.”
Mott said Monday that she got the idea after her parents’ told her about the burglary.
“And I decided to take some of my money from my piggy bank to give to him as a booster to get back what he lost,” she said. “And he was very grateful.”
At first Mott said she gave Anderson a handful of the money from the bank, but then she went back into the store and gave it all away.
“I felt good when I did it,” Mott said. “When I came home, I felt like I had done the right thing.”
The Cortland County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the theft that occurred between 9 p.m. Dec. 2 and 6:55 a.m. Dec. 3 at the business at 5887 Route 281. No arrests have been made.
The theft was first noticed by an employee who went to clock in at the store Tuesday morning and saw that the office was a mess and called an owner, said Matt Dehart, who co-owns the farm market with his father-in-law, Bill Anderson, on Dec. 3. A door on the south-end of the shop was broken into and a lock box was broken and emptied, Dehart said.
Police urge anyone with information in the case to call the Sheriff’s Department at 607-753-3311.
In the meantime, Anderson reports receiving an “amazing” amount of community support, both from customers coming in and from those commenting on Facebook.
An update on the Facebook page about the burglary elicited 66 comments.
Anderson’s post about Mott’s gift gained 455 “likes” by Monday evening.
“There are a lot of good people out there,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately there’s a handful of criminals.”


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