O Tannin-baum: Winery’s stolen gifts for family replaced

Multnomah County

Thousands of dollars in stolen donations replaced by community

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Christmas spirit is resounding after a community replaced donations for a family in need that burglars stole from a Southeast Portland winery.

The owners of Hip Chicks Do Wine — Portland’s oldest urban winery — had collected food and presents for underprivileged families this Christmas, but police said burglars broke in and stole thousands of dollars in merchandise and hundreds in donations on Dec. 4.

Co-owners Laurie Lewis and Renee Neely have been making wine in southeast Portland for 22 years. They said the Christmas presents were meant for a family they adopted this holiday season.

But after they invited the community to help replace the stolen presents, an overwhelming outpouring followed.

Donations of money, toys and food flooded the winery from longtime customers and total strangers alike, Lewis said.

“It’s so easy to focus on the bad things that happen because bad things happen everyday to good people,” said co-owner Laurie Lewis, a self-proclaimed wine goddess. “So to be able to have our community to step up and give us back a little big of that Christmas spirit … a little reminder of why it’s important to give.”

Following the reverberating generosity, the winery was able to replace the presents for the original family — and adopt three more families in time for the holidays.

And the donations kept coming: the winery gave $200 in cards to the parents, $1,000 in donations of hygiene products to Esther’s Pantry and $1,000 contribution to split between two other adopted families their friends have taken on.

The owners of Hip Chicks Do Wine said they are grateful for the giving this season.

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