VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — With all of the bad stuff that we have to report, it’s always nice to be able to tell you about the good people in the world and especially here in Hampton Roads.
10 On Your Side first reported about the Khlar family’s stolen vehicle last week. The minivan was found shot up and covered in blood. Some pricey baby items were also missing.
Now, they are back on the road all thanks to some very generous 10 On Your Side viewers.
Stephen and Victoria Klahr say this kind gesture really restored their faith in humanity.
“I am just in shock that there are people out there who saw this and wanted to help,” said Victoria.
Klahr woke up on July 1 and noticed her van was missing. It was later found in Portsmouth and police believe it was used in a crime.
She and her husband went to see it in the impound lot and say it was worse than they thought.
Their van was riddled with bullet holes, covered in blood, and the windows were shattered.
“I saw it and it hit home like these people were involved in something really bad,” said Victoria. “They were here, they were here at my house outside while we were sleeping, my kids were inside.”
“I don’t think we would’ve ever seen the van back so soon so we really appreciate everything you’ve done for us,” said Stephen Klahr. “We’re so glad we called 10 On Your Side because you really helped us out and helped us get the info we needed.”
Gayle and Hunter Merrill say they saw the couple’s story on WAVY last week and immediately wanted to help.
“They had a need and we had the means,” said Hunter Merrill. “We’ve had this as a spare car for a long time and we thought it was only appropriate that we had the means to fix their need.”
The Merrill’s also went to get the car detailed at PaintMedic in Gloucester, but when employees there heard the Klahr’s story, they went above and beyond and did the job for free.
“They stopped everything, jumped on this car to get it done by today. They had to let it cure overnight because they did a full ceramic on the vehicle, cleaned the inside out and had it ready to pick up this morning,” said Hunter. “I think because we’re doing something, they said they want to help too and I thought that was great.”
Now Victoria says she’ll be able to get her kids to appointments and to summer activities thanks to this new set of wheels.
“It is going to be a big help and we are grateful to have the one car, but as a mom of three, this is a huge, huge, stress reliever to be able to go get groceries when I need them and go to the doctor when I need to and be able to do things with my kids,” said Victoria.
“That’s what we wanted, to help somebody,” said Gayle. “We saw this story and she was saying, ‘I don’t have any way to take my kids anywhere, it’s summer and my husband has to take the other car to work,’ and I am thinking, yeah, I know how it is.”
The Merrills say this car has quite a few miles on it and a lifetime of family adventures, but there’s still a lot of life left in it for a new family.
“After everything bad that has been happening, it’s nice to know that humanity is there and community is there to help support us,” said Victoria. “Yes, we are grateful, but grateful mostly that we got to see there’s good in the world.”
“There are a lot more good people out there than there are bad people and we have to remember that,” said Hunter.
“I think this is just one example of somebody helping somebody,” said Gayle. “There are so many people out there that can be helped and just pay attention and just see what you can do to help.”
In addition to the Merrills, the Klahrs say so many kind viewers reached out to them to help. Victoria says a viewer donated a baby carrier to them because hers was inside the van and says others reached out to offer support, which really meant a lot to their family.