CHANDLER, AZ — The Sun Groves community in south Chandler has rallied around a family that's faced several challenges this year.
David and Jennifer Colvin, like many families, have had a difficult 2020.
Jenny, a mother of two, recently had invasive surgeries to remove two deadly tumors. She had to shut down her pain therapy businesses due to her health issues. Around the same time, David lost his job due to COVID-19.
"Here we are sitting in a pandemic with neither of us having income, and I'm fighting for my life. So it quickly turned into a big battle, a big uphill battle," said Jenny.
They drained their savings just to stay afloat. David said their Sun Groves neighbors stepped up to help when they could.
"Just had random texts, phone calls, random meals showing up, people doing little things throughout the year, it's kept me strong, it's kept my faith strong, knowing that we'll make it through this no matter what," he said.
But they had no idea of what their neighbors had been planning this past week, secretly collecting donations and presents to surprise the Colvins.
"A lot of people had rough years, but this is our people, this was our people who had a rough year and we wanted to look out for them," said Kris Durbin, who helped get the word out about helping the family.
Durbin said Sun Groves is a big neighborhood, but the community is tight. Jenny is well-known for always helping others out.
"The stories started coming in about how generous Jenny has been in the past with giving back to people who need help, so it was just beautiful," said Kristen Kildebech, a friend.
"I think as far as the neighborhood was concerned, it was effortless to raise money just because of who they are and how much people actually love and respect them," said Durbin.
In a few days they raised close to $6,000 in cash. A few neighbors surprised them Thursday night with gifts at their home.
"We shed a lot of tears and as family, we joined in the kitchen and began to open everything. That was the life-changing moment when we realized how big this was," said Jenny. "It was just one of the most beautiful moments when we realized the magnitude of what they pulled together in such a short time."
"It's just one of those moments when you look back at this year, I'm hoping this is what we remember--and all of what our neighborhood has done for us and the people that shown up for us when our lives have been the toughest, they made it a little bit easier," said David.