Member Stories

Neighbors come together to help cancer survivor and retired Texas firefighter after robbery

Written by Nick Brinkerhoff

Temple, Texas is known for its tight-knit community. When something happens to a Temple neighbor, you can bet your bottom dollar that Texans will come together. That’s why it was no surprise that when neighbors heard that retired Temple firefighter LeRoy Vargas was robbed, the community quickly came to his aid. 

One day when LeRoy left his home, he noticed that someone had stolen a wagon from his front yard. And this wasn’t just any wagon– LeRoy had been gifted the fire wagon while battling cancer five years ago and used it as a piece of art in his yard. As a retired Temple firefighter who served his community for over 35 years, the wagon had immense sentimental value.

LeRoy posted on Nextdoor about the stolen fire wagon to alert neighbors about the robbery and ask that they keep an eye out for the missing wagon. What happened next brought LeRoy to tears.

Neighbors from LeRoy’s Temple Deerfield Estates Nextdoor community rallied together with the Temple Fire Department to purchase a brand new wagon. Other neighbors also sent LeRoy words of encouragement and offered help through the app.

Although LeRoy wasn’t able to retrieve his stolen wagon, the new wagon meant just as much to him, if not more.  

“I couldn’t believe it, and at the same time I wasn’t surprised,” LeRoy told NBC Temple. “Nextdoor is about neighbors helping neighbors, and being kind, and watching out for one another. So, it didn’t surprise me at all that they reached out to me. They reached out to me on social media in private messages and offered me words of encouragement and that was just a blessing.”


This story was originally picked up and aired on NBC Temple.

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