Leuzinger Gift Fund Stolen, but Student ‘Santa’ Saves Day

Students at Leuzinger High School in Lawndale this week saved $72.93 in coins to donate to needy families for the holidays, only to have the money disappear from their classroom.

Soon after English teacher Gloria Furlow discovered the theft, one of her students decided to replace the stolen money with a milk jug full of coins that he had been collecting at home.

“There are people who are not selfish,” Furlow said of Jay Carson’s $96.23 donation. “This kid could have taken that money and bought Christmas gifts, but he thought this was a good cause. . . . If his example was followed by everyone, what a wonderful world.”

Carson, an 18-year-old senior, has been collecting coins since his freshman year, storing them in a gallon milk jug. When he presented the jug to Furlow on Thursday, it weighed 27 pounds.


“I didn’t know how much I had,” Carson said. “Miss Furlow was really upset that (the other money) was gone, and I just decided to help out.”

School administrators are still investigating the theft.