When retired Navy veteran Stephen Boland and his 24-year-old daughter, Rachel, packed up their belongings for a cross-country move from Sacramento, California, to Atlanta, Georgia, the last thing they expected was to lose them in the process.
But when they pulled into San Antonio, Texas, on November 10, their U-Haul was stolen as they ate dinner.
"We stopped here, decided to go out and get some dinner, came back and found out our truck with all our personal belongings had been taken away," Stephen told HLN affiliate KSAT.
San Antonio police found the stolen U-Haul the following morning, but it was empty. The car they were towing was left behind, but everything else was gone. Rachel told KSAT that what mattered most to her was the loss of precious mementos.
"The memories, his childhood, my childhood, things that we're carrying on, it's just all gone," Rachel said. "My grandmother's jewelry, some photographs that maybe I want to pass on to my kids one day, that hurts and I just feel violated."
HLN affiliate WSB reports that Stephen made the move to take a new job with the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Now, he and his daughter will have to start over in Atlanta, but the kindness of friends and family may make this unfortunate event a little easier to bear.
"Insurance is not covering a lot of things, so we're unlucky on that end," Rachel told WSB.
Family friend Matiana Mitchell started a Gofundme page to raise money for the Bolands, which has amassed $5,650 in donations so far and is still climbing. On the Facebook page, people are also offering home furnishings and other items to help the family to get back on their feet.
Mitchell told HLN that Rachel called her in a panic after the theft, and she wanted to help the family.
"Even though this situation is so terrible, some really great things have come from it," she said. "Just seeing the support that family and friends have given was amazing, we have collected tons of clothes and things for them ready to ship out. Then even more amazing the support from strangers, just good people that are out there, reaching out to help in any way they can."