When Luchis "Lou" Royster's Pit Stop Shoe and Luggage Repair store was burglarized in May, he worried his dreams as first-time shop owner might be over.
The leather specialty shop in the 900 block of South Coast Highway was robbed of somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 in merchandise, tools and customer belongings, Royster said.
With no insurance policy to cover his losses, Royster was pressed to find a way to recover his business.
Thanks to the kindness of people contributing to a donation fund set up by customer Sandie Ward, Royster was given $1,800 to replace the essentials of his craft.
"I was able to get the tools I needed to continue work. It's a great gift," he said.
The leather repairman has also been busy writing thank-you letters to more than 20 people who contributed to the fund.
He has also taken steps to prevent future crimes by obtaining insurance, an alarm system and a steel door with a deadbolt lock.
Sandie Ward is still collecting donations for Royster. For more information, call (949) 494-5571.