BOYLE HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — As Christmas approaches, a community has rallied to bring cheer to a family impacted by recent tragedy.
Martha Sanchez, 39, was two weeks away from her 40th birthday when she was fatally shot during a robbery at the store she worked at in September. Sanchez, the mother of five children, including a special-needs nine-year-old girl, was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after the robbery took place.
Her family now prepares to spend their first Christmas together without her.
“To honor my mom, we have to stay united closer and not let anything break our bond,” daughter Gabriella said. “(It is) hard without her, hard to celebrate the holidays without her, not see her cook or tell her jokes.”
Now, her home community, rallying around her husband of 20 years and her children, are doing what they can to make this holiday a little easier.
The community, including LAPD officers, Pasadena City College volunteers and the hospital that cared for Sanchez, have donated an entire room of wrapped gifts.
“(I) got home and was like ‘wow’,” daughter Fabiola said. “I was surprised and shocked!”
A special delivery was made to the family that included Santa along with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
The Sanchez family says that the outpouring of generosity has given them hope this holiday season where there had been none.