Upland Community Rallies Around Family After Tragedy
UPLAND, Calif. (KABC) -- After weeks and weeks of crying, Rose Campos' tears on Wednesday were a little different.
"The outpouring from the community has been such a blessing, at times I can't even fathom to feel anything else but tears of happiness," she said.
Campos' 17-year-old son, Michael Medina, was stabbed to death by a 16-year-old boy in an alley in the 500 block of E. 17th Street in Upland on Sept. 5 while trying to break up a fight. He and a friend were returning home from his 4-year-old sister's birthday party.
Upland police said Medina was not the intended target of the fight, but his friend was.
The last three months have been filled with anguish but on Wednesday his family received a $1,000 shopping spree at Kohl's department store in Upland.
"This means a lot to us. We're able to get things for my daughter, things for my teenagers that they didn't have. It's a blessing," Campos said.
Although Wednesday's donation was made possible by the Colonies Crossroads shopping center, it's yet another example of how the entire community is showing support.
"Maybe it'll be some trinket that they purchase, maybe it will be a blanket, maybe it will be a toy for their child but they'll remember that where that came from was from a community of caring people," said Lorraine Kindred of Colonies Crossroads.
The Upland Fire Department was on hand to help out with the shopping, as was the Upland Police Department.
"I don't have my son here anymore. Nothing will ever replace my son, and now I'm going through more problems with my brother. He's in ICU right now, clinging onto life, so it's another hard struggle that I'm going to have to go through and face pretty soon," Campos said.
But perhaps more important than the extra cash is the knowledge that it's a struggle they won't be facing alone.