MARYSVILLE — A dark parking lot on a cold winter night was the scene. The event: the quick transfer of several packages from one vehicle to another.
As a result, a single mother will be able to provide Christmas to her four young boys, thanks to a local youth baseball team.
“I can’t believe all this,” said the mother, Sharon McGregor, of Marysville. She fought back tears as the boys of the 13U Laces Baseball team ferried several dozen wrapped presents from their coach’s SUV to her minivan.
McGregor’s van was stolen from outside her Marysville home Nov. 25 after she got home from Black Friday shopping for Christmas.
Inside were the gifts for her children: Trevor, 9, Maysen, 4, and 2-year-old twins Kaiden and Austin. She shared her loss on Facebook, where it spread.
A friend created a GoFundMe account to help raise donations for her, and in that way she was able to get a new minivan. But her story caught coach Derek Gates’ attention.
“I talk to my boys about community service all the time,” he said. The team decided to take action.
“We decided to help out and make sure these kids got a Christmas they deserved,” said Benjamin Glover, 13, who pitches and plays several other positions on the team.
McGregor said that Gates reached out via Facebook Messenger and was persistent, asking her kids’ names, ages, and likes.
“They wouldn’t take no for an answer,” McGregor said.
Gates said that when it was all said and done, each of the boys contributed about four gifts.
“Some of the boys even sacrificed one of their own gifts,” Gates said.
At least 50 gifts changed hands in the parking lot of the Marysville Albertsons store Saturday night, including new scooters for each kid that Gates bought.
It turned out McGregor had a connection to the team as well. One of the baseball moms bought McGregor’s Stanwood house a year ago.
Natalie Griffin’s son, Ty, plays on the team. She and McGregor hadn’t met before. “She wrote me a really nice note,” Griffin said. “I was a single mother at the time, too, raising four kids.”
It’s one thing to just help out someone you don’t know, Gates said. “Helping someone you know on this kind of level is a whole other thing.”
As they chatted briefly in the cold, they found another connection: Trevor liked baseball. Gates dangled the prospect that he could be the team’s bat boy in the spring.
Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; email@example.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.