Memphians step up to help St. Jude family whose luggage was stolen

MEMPHIS, Tenn —A family facing heartache is rescued by the Bluff City.

"Although there's so much bad in the world, there's some really good people we are just grateful. Grateful," said Sarah Halter.

She and her family drove from Texas to Memphis for the St. Jude Marathon. They are running for their relative Austyn Halter.

Austyn underwent treatment at St. Jude until August when she lost her fight to Leukemia.

Austyn was just 4 years old.

"She loved Memphis just as much as we did," Halter said.

They got in Thursday late afternoon and grabbed a bite at Gus's downtown.

They came outside to their car window bashed in and all their luggage, running gear, camera full of Austyn's pictures and more gone.

"The past four months have been miserable, and this was the only thing would have brought me any sort of joy," Halter said. "It's just ruined."

That's until Memphis stepped in.

"It started with St. Jude. They offered to have our car towed and kept it in a safe place for us overnight," said Austyn's Aunt Rachel Olson.

After that, the phones kept ringing. Strangers wanting to donate. T-shirt companies and stores offering running shoes and gear.

"My heart just broke for them," said Ashley Goddard-Tucker with the Goddard Foundation.

The Goddard Foundation out of Cordova is even putting up a reward.

"A thousand dollar reward for the return of their belongings," said Goddard-Tucker.

The family said they're full of gratitude and are overwhelmed by the support.

They said this will help them through the race, which will be a very emotional time. Just last year, Austyn was cheering on the runners.

"We are going to make her proud. Make her proud. We are Austyn strong," said Olson.

The family said their t-shirts they had custom-made with Austyn's name on it were also taken, but thankfully, their running team had extras.

They said Memphians have provided more than they need. Now they are just asking people to donate to St. Jude in honor of Austyn.