"...I am 9 and live in New Providence. I made friendship/peace bracelets. Which I sold. I would like to give the money to Mr. Abelino Mazariego's family. Please give this to them," reads a letter sent to the Summit Area Public Foundation.
"Enclosed was 31 dollars in cash," said Barbara Bunting, treasurer for the Foundation.
It's letters and donations like these that Bunting says the SAPF has been getting since the murder of Abelino Mazareigo on July 17 in the Summit Promenade.
While this event may have been unprecedented, the outpouring of support – from the community memorial held a week after his death to the hundreds of donations flooding in to help the victim's wife and four children – is tried and true Hilltopper.
Several downtown businesses hosted specials on July 21 to donate proceeds to the family, while others continue to collect donations.
Bona Vita Osteria offered a special menu July 21 and all proceeds from those sales were donated to the family. Rocco Flores, co-owner of the Maple Street staple said they raised $500.
Monster Sushi donated $1 from every sale over the course of several days, raising $332.
Dabbawalla, where Mazariego worked as a dishwasher and food prep, continues to collect donations for the family but has already brought in somewhere between $7,ooo and $8,000, restaurant manager Colin Crasto said.
Bella Ro donated $500, Lululemon raised $620 and The Bar Method donated $6,000 which was comprised of customer donations and a portion of their proceeds.
Bunting said the Summit Area Public Foundation has gotten at least 550 individual donations over the last several weeks, ranging from as little as $5 to as much as $2,500 a piece.
"The compassion and I'd even say affection have just been overwhelming," she said. "What a town we live in."
The Junior League also donated several items of baby clothes the Mazariego's as they have a new baby girl in the family.
A crib and bassinet were also donated, Bunting said.
Investor's Savings Bank also said they would match every donation sent in up to $5,000 as well.
Thanks the donations received, Bunting also said they have been able to pay for three months of rent for the victim's family. Costs associated with the funeral and transporting of the body back to El Salvador for burial were covered by colleagues of Mazariego's from Dabbawalla.
"So many have been so generous," Bunting said.
Donations are still being accepted by the Summit Area Public Foundation, P.O. Box 867, Summit, NJ 07902-0867. Checks may be made payable to SAPF and designated for the Mazariego family.