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Seaford Man Brings Christmas Cheer to Suffolk County Burglary Victims

John Theissen delivers gifts and $5,000 check courtesy of his Wantagh foundation to North Bellport family after hearing of their ordeal.

A Seaford resident and the head of a Wantagh charity has brought holiday joy to a Suffolk County family who had Christmas gifts stolen by burglars that broke into their North Bellport home over the weekend.

John Theissen of Seaford, who founded the Wantagh-based (JTCF) in 1992, was so touched when he saw tears on 12-year-old Madison Sabolenko's face following the burglary in a News 12 Long Island story that he arranged gifts for the family that were delivered Tuesday. Theissen, a MacArthur High School graduate, brought Madison and her brother Matthew electronic games, gift cards and toys courtesy of the JTCF, CBS New York reported.

Theissen also provided the Sabolenko family, who had their home donated just last year by Habitat for Humanity, with a $5,000 check, that can be viewed in this Newsday video. A News 12 Long Island video report of Theissen's charitable act toward the Sabolenkos can also be viewed by clicking here.

The JTCF is in the midst of , and held its annual on Dec. 1 at Mulcahy's Pub & Concert Hall in Wantagh. Theissen began the foundation soon after surviving a brain tumor that deprived him of his final years at MacArthur High School.

Chris Wendt December 21, 2011 at 04:02 PM
What a wonderful ending to that tragically cruel burglary story. We are truly blessed to have John Theissen and his foundation in our community!
B@B December 22, 2011 at 01:13 PM
I'm so happy to see this. What Habitat does is so misunderstood by so many people. It is not a "free house" and it is not "welfare." Habitat families are all working families, and they put at least 400 hours of sweat equity into the building of their home. It sounds like whoever did this may have been one of the "free house resentment" types who took it upon him/herself to decide what this family should and shouldn't have. John Theissen is without a doubt one of the blessings of the season.

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