A community in Arizona has come together to show their support for a 91-year-old army veteran, Floyd Barber, who was robbed of his hard-earned cash.
Barber, who served in the Korean War, was on his way to make a $7,000 bank deposit on Wednesday, March 8 to get his teeth fixed when he stopped at a service station to fill his tank.
“I was on my way to Chase Bank,” he told Fox News. “I stopped at Fry’s service station to get some gas and my money was in an envelope in my pocket.”
While there, a woman approached him and grabbed his money, which was in an envelope in his pocket.
“This woman grabbed me,” Barber said. “She started kissing my forehead and hugging me, shaking me all up. She got my money.”
Feeling violated, Barber pulled out his gun, but the woman fled before he could stop her.
“I had a gun on me, so I pulled it out,” Barber said. “I wasn’t going to shoot her, but it didn’t scare her and she just started taking off. A man [who was] next to me getting gas tried to catch her. He was a young man and he couldn’t do it. She got away. They interviewed me, and then they started looking for her,” Barber said. “She works the parking lots trying to sell a fake gold ring. So, she had approached me two or three times before that.”
Feeling down and disheartened, Barber headed to his favorite restaurant where he shared his ordeal with a server named Sheri Tacchia.
“My first reaction was to find out if he was OK,” Tacchia said. “He told me, ‘Yes, just shook up.’ He explained what happened and it just broke my heart. I’m the mom of two veterans and the daughter of a veteran. So, I didn’t see how someone could do something like this.”
Tacchia, who had no idea what had happened to Barber, was shocked by the incident and immediately offered to help.
She spoke to a local news station and started a GoFundMe account to raise money for Barber. The response from the community was overwhelming, with people coming to the restaurant to show their support and offer donations.
“Floyd has been coming here a long time,” Tacchia said. “He’s one of my customers and all the servers here know him,” she added. “He is just the kindest person, the kindest soul.”
In less than a week, the fundraiser exceeded its goal of $10,000. Not only that, a local dentist contacted Tacchia to offer his services to help Barber get his teeth fixed so he could use the donated funds for other expenses.
Tacchia met Barber at the bank to transfer the GoFundMe money into his account, and he was overcome with gratitude for the community’s kindness and generosity.
“What people have done…it’s truly amazing,” Tacchia said.“A man came in [the resturant] yesterday and walked up to him and said, ‘I don’t know how to work GoFundMe, but thank you for your service, sir,’” Tacchia said, adding that the man handed Barber a $100 before another customer walked over and gave him another $20.
If you’d like to donate to Barber, you can visit his GoFundMe page here.