Hundreds of gifts collected for 5 children without parents after fatal domestic violence incident

VALATIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local school and many people in Columbia County collected hundreds of gifts for five children who will be without both of their parents for Christmas.

A case of domestic violence shook Columbia County on December 10. Police said 37-year-old Christina Agan was stabbed to death by her estranged husband David Again, Jr. Now, their five children are without their parents for the holidays.

But the Valatie community has made sure the children won’t be without for the holiday.

“We’re here to bring some presents to some very good little boys and girls,” Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett said.

Bartlett led the charge on Wednesday while dressed as Santa to load up gifts and deliver them to the Agan family.

“We are one big family up here, and it’s wonderful to be able to do this for these children,” he said.

The outpouring of gifts is thanks to Ichabod Crane High School senior Melanie Vanalphen.

“Nobody should have to go through that so I said we should give them the best Christmas they’ve ever had,” she said.

Principal Craig Shull said it all began with the students, but soon, the entire community joined in.

“They really came and they rallied behind the students so much,” Shull said. “It’s heart warming.”

Hundreds of gifts poured in all because of one student’s wish to brighten the family’s holiday.

“So overwhelming that I started to cry,” Vanalphen said.

And the support hasn’t gone unnoticed by the family, either.

“One of the high school students here actually made an announcement to the entire building thanking them for the support from the bottom of his heart and how it’s warmed him and his family, and he said it’s changed his life forever,” Shull said.

It all proves that every small act of kindness can make a big difference.

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