COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) — What started as an internet scam became a Christmas nightmare, but morphed into a Christmas miracle for a young girl in Columbia.
“The only thing I wanted for Christmas was a treehouse. I couldn’t think of anything else.”
That’s all that was on 6-year-old Millie Breitner’s Christmas wish list, and her mom Kelsey was determined to make it come true.
The high price tag for a new one sent Kelsey to Facebook Marketplace, where she found a man who claimed he was a builder. Kelsey had hoped he could step in for Santa Claus.
“We talked for a few days on and off, and then the day he took payment I hadn’t heard from him again,” Kelsey said.
It wasn’t until a couple hundred dollars and a few days later that Kelsey realized she was scammed.
“It kind of just hit me like a truck when I’m like, ‘Oh, this is what happened. I’ve been scammed,'” Kelsey said.
Kelsey went to Facebook to warn others, but that warning turned into something else.
“Everybody, people I’ve never heard of, people I didn’t know just started coming forward and wanting to donate their time and wanting to help,” she said.
“I messaged her and I told her my husband said that if she would get the material, we would build it for her,” Nena Berlin said.
When Berlin, one of Kelsey’s former coworkers, went to Lowe’s to get an estimate, something unbelievable happened.
“She said Lowes is donating all of the materials for this. I started crying; she’s on the phone crying,” Kelsey said.
Dozens of volunteers built the playhouse in just one day, while Dunkin’ Donuts donated coffee, and Chick-fil-A donated breakfast.
“The community really came together in this time for this little girl and it just fills my heart with joy. I was just glad for this little girl to be able to get her Christmas wish,” Berlin said.
“That terrible situation was turned into this amazing blessing for us and I couldn’t be more thankful honestly. I will never forget this Christmas, it was by far our best,” Kelsey said.