PLEASANTON (KPIX 5) — The Pleasanton community helped out a veteran and his wife whose life possessions were stolen while they were moving to the Bay Area to start a new life.
The donation drive at the U-Haul facility on Sunol Boulevard was visited by plenty of helpful people who wanted to help get the couple back on their feet.
On Halloween night, Jonathan Munoz and his wife were driving from Las Vegas to the Bay Area as Munoz was set to start a new job with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. They were in a U-Haul filled with all of their belongings.
Munoz pulled over to spend the night at the Doubletree Hotel in Pleasanton and when he came out the next morning, the U-Haul was stolen. Everything–from furniture, kitchenware, clothing, medical records and military documents–was all gone.
Munoz’s Bronze Star Medal he received while serving multiple combat tours overseas was gone.
“I think I still have a lot of hate in my heart for that individual right now,” Munoz told KPIX 5.
When Sandy Myers heard about what happened to the couple, she and everyone at the donation drive Sunday knows that is not how people from Pleasanton are. Myers’ own anger, sadness and disappointment turned to action.
She posted on the Facebook page Pleasanton Community, a page with 3,000 members and which she administrates, asking for everything from kitchenware to dog supplies.
U-Haul donated the space and neighbors filled it up, arriving in a steady stream of cars to drop off coffee makers, silverware, dog begs and clothes.
“I know the dedication and I know the sacrifice that they give to us to be able to live the life that we do. So this is a very small thing that we’re doing for him,” Myers said.
“This is the city that I live in and we help others. That’s what Pleasanton’s about. I’m happy to do it,” said Keith Sharp.
Munoz says it’s “taken a while” for the kindness of strangers to sink in and that he was dreading making the trek from Las Vegas to an empty apartment.
“Extremely grateful and it’s the one bright light looking forward. And honestly, it’s the happiest part about going back. Because if we didn’t have it, it would probably the saddest drive going back to Northern California right now,” he said.
Munoz is currently in Las Vegas finalizing the move to his and his wife’s Petaluma apartment. He also plans to pay the kindness forward by donating anything left over from the donation drives to other veterans in need.
And Myers says they will be back out here next Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 16 and 17, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Duplicate items will be donated to other needy veterans.
There is a GoFundMe page that has raised more the $7000 towards its $25,000 goal.