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Article published January 2, 2013
Blind woman helped by Good Samaritan
Good Samaritan 1, Grinch 0. Just a week after a heartless thief picked Christmas time to make off with a blind woman’s Apple iPad, the holiday spirit has been restored. A generous donor Wednesday presented a new computer tablet to Tara Young, a 36-year-old single mother who has come to rely on the device. “It’s pretty overwhelming,” she said this morning. “I didn’t expect this.” The donation came two days after the Butler Eagle reported on Young’s plight. The iPad was at her sister’s house, which is next to Young’s house on Route 38, when it was snatched. The $795 gadget, which Young won at a gun raffle sponsored by the Chicora Volunteer Fire Department in August, was equipped with special software. It permitted images and text that are visual on the iPad to be made into audio for people who are blind or visually impaired. It also had an application that allowed her to identify money. Pittsburgh’s three television stations later picked up the story and aired their own reports. Stacy Rhome of Canonsburg, Washington County, viewed one of the reports and was moved to help despite not even knowing Young. She delivered the new iPad to Young at the television studio. But Rhome’s good was shared by others. Two compassionate strangers reached out to the Butler Eagle, seeking information on how they, too, could provide Young with a replacement iPad. One of those strangers, a Butler woman, wanted to remain anonymous. “I read about what happened in the paper and I want to help,” the woman said Wednesday in extending her offer of help. “That iPad is important to her. It’s her lifeline.” State police, who continue to investigate the theft, said they have gotten similar calls from people wanting to help Young. The Wal-Mart store in Washington, Pa., meanwhile, provided her with a gift card to purchase blind-friendly applications for the device. Young said she was stunned after learning that so many people wanted to help her. “It’s hard to put into words how I feel,” she said. “But it sure feels good.