Pranksters who appropriated a set of plastic outdoor flamingoes soon realized that the flamingoes were intended to demonstrate support for a 12-year-old girl battling leukemia.
After Abby Van Dyke of Weare, New Hampshire was diagnosed with the disease last month, members of the local community started a campaign to raise funds for her medical expenses through a Facebook group they created entitled #AbbyStrong "Army."
Since orange is the color for leukemia awareness, the group decorated the town with orange plastic flamingoes for the fundraiser.
"It was mostly about getting as many out before she came home from the hospital, so she'd drive through town and see them, and know that everyone was thinking of her and praying for her and her family," Tippy Johnston, a family friend, told New Hampshire television station WMUR-TV.
Last week, the police reported that several of the plastic flamingoes around the town of Weare were missing. A few were discovered on the side of the road.
On September 1, the Weare police department reportedly received an anonymous letter from the thieves. According to a Facebook post by the department featuring a photo of the letter, the thieves returned all of the stolen flamingoes.
"We are truly sorry for our actions and had no idea what the flamingoes on Colby Road symbolized. We would have never taken them," the letter reads. "[We] will never do anything like this again."
The Facebook post of the letter received over 300 likes as of September 2.
In the letter's envelope, the thieves also included a small monetary donation to #AbbyStrong.
The do-gooder group is now offering bracelets so that residents of Weare can show their support.