Community showers children of Samantha Stein with Christmas gifts

Dawn J. Sagert
York Dispatch

Cars pulled in and out of the parking lot outside Spring Grove’s Dollar General store, some doing last-minute shopping just two days before Christmas and some dropping off donations of gifts and money for the family that Samantha Stein left behind.

Samantha Stein, 24, was found dead in her Spring Grove home Saturday, Dec. 16. Police say she was stabbed by a neighbor.

Volunteers, from left, Anne Acker, of Jackson Township; Barb Harrell, of Spring Grove; and Pat Parrish, of Heidelberg Township, wrap donated gifts for the children of homicide victim Samantha Stein, 24, at Dollar General in Spring Grove, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. Stein was found dead in her home Dec. 16. Police say she was stabbed by a neighbor. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“We’re trying to get as much as possible for the children to have a wonderful Christmas, even though I can’t make their only wish come true — which is bringing their mom back,” said Dollar General store manager Amber McKinsey during the Saturday, Dec. 23, event. “I can’t pull that off, but I can try every way to give them at least a fabulous Christmas.”

McKinsey organized the "Christmas Miracle" and said she knew Stein as a customer at the store.

McKinsey said she can’t thank the community enough.

“We’ve had some very generous donations through just about every aspect you can think of,” she said.

People who knew Stein and her family stopped in during the event.

More:Police: Spring Grove killer likely planned attack on neighbor

“I think the goal here today was that we could all come out and show Sam and her family that there is a lot more good than there is bad in this community,” said Brandi Cooper, of Manchester Township. Cooper and her three children played "Pokémon GO" in a group with Stein and her three children.

“She was just the most awesome mom you could imagine,” Cooper said.

As the original need of bringing Christmas gifts to the children was filled, the focus shifted to the family’s lives moving forward. Stein’s fiancé and their three children are starting over.

“As you could imagine, it’s very rough on him. Nobody should have to go back into that apartment, so my effort is to try to get him everything new,” McKinsey said. “That way there are no reminders of what happened — even though the memory is still going to be there.”

The family is seeking a two- to three-bedroom home to rent and can afford up to $900 per month. They have seen the community come together and they would love to stay in Spring Grove so the children won't have to change schools. The family also will need to furnish the home.

For more information, contact Amber McKinsey through the Facebook event page at:

There is also a GoFundMe account set up to help the family. For information on that fundraiser, go to