‘It helps us heal’: Community members replace stolen flamingos in memory of beloved woman

HOLBROOK, MASS. (WHDH) - The Holbrook community came together in a show of support when part of a flamingo display with a special meaning, was stolen

The colorful flock of flamingos was placed in the front yard of the home to pay tribute to a beloved member of the community named Debbie, who lost her battle with multiple sclerosis a week ago.

While the colorful plastic birds were her passion, her friends and family were never quite keen on the lawn decor.

But when Debbie was hospitalized, her long-time friend Chris Mankus promised to brighten her spirits.

“I said, ‘I’m gonna bring you a flamingo in here every day until you get home,” he explained.

Sadly, Debbie died before she could make it back home.

So, instead of a service, the community began sending even more pink birds of paradise as part of a growing memorial in her name.

Over the weekend, Debbie’s family said someone stole several of their decorations.

But, that did not stop neighbors and even strangers from sending more flamingos in their place.

“People started messaging my daughter, ‘What’s their address? We’re sending Amazon to them,” Holbrook resident Mary Clougher said

Not even a full day later, the stolen birds were returned.

“Guilt, parent’s car, whoever it was that did it,” Mankus said. “A box appeared on the lawn, a very large box and it was all the flamingos that were stolen the night before.”

Now, Debbie’s loved ones can continue to honor her colorful spirit — something they said they are very grateful for.

“Somebody made a bad mistake, and they fixed it,” Mankus said. “It helps us heal, it helps us get through a tough time.”


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