Strangers donate thousands of marbles to Lenexa teacher after prized collection stolen

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LENEXA, Kan. -- After a prized collection was stolen, strangers are coming to the rescue of a metro teacher.

Rich Maxwell, who is an after school teacher at Lenexa Hills Elementary School, said the hardest part about his thousands of marbles being stolen was the impact it had on his students.

After getting over the initial shock of having his truck and marble collection stolen, Maxwell said the past few days have been filled with joy.

“I’ve been humbled, it’s just a combination of a big loss, but it’s like the silver lining. Several people have talked about the silver lining, my wife says, one door closes and one opens, so it’s been good," Maxwell said.

Not only is he back teaching in his classroom but he's seeing the power of social media work.

“The night that the story came on, my mom sent me an email, teacher lost his marbles, not a joke,” Regina Daniel said.

After seeing the initial story on FOX4, Daniel donated a very personal collection of marbles she’s kept underneath a table in her home since her father passed away in 2010.

“As much as I loved the collection, I knew it meant so much more to him, the minute I saw him look at the marbles. I knew it meant so much more to him,” Daniel said.

Daniel was not the only one stepping up. The PTA at his elementary school providing a $200 check from donations, and supporters reaching out from all around the country as they learn about his unique marble and STEM class.

“People are warning me that my my post office, that my mailbox is going to blow up with marbles," Maxwell said.

Maxwell said he is well on his way to having more marbles than ever before.

He has plans of teaching more marble classes throughout Johnson County.

“They are fueling me to just look at other ways I can give back to the community, and people are just fueling what I am doing. It's amazing," Maxwell said.

Police are still actively searching for the stolen items. If you have information, call Shawnee Police Department.

Lenexa Hills Elementary School has been chosen as the official drop-off site for anyone interested in donating marbles.

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