After a brisk and critical Thanksgiving pie-selling week, The Honey Pot's cart (Good Food Here, SE Belmont) was broken into, a theft which claimed their entire $1800 in holiday proceeds. Devastated, owner Mary Sheridan posted an open letter to the thief, explaining how deeply the loss had cut her and her two small children. The heartbreaking message touched a nerve, and the news quickly went national. At the insistence of friends, a reluctant Sheridan posted a donations link on her website.

"The letter started getting passed around," Sheridan writes in an email to the Mercury, "and people started asking how they could help. At first I just urged people to come buy pie but it was clear people wanted to do more. I put a donations button on the website and donations started pouring in. By Saturday night I had a few hundred dollars. When I woke up on Sunday morning I had enough to pay my rent at the cart. By Sunday afternoon I had recouped all my losses. [...] By late Sunday night I had almost doubled my losses and had had the best day of sales ever at the cart. I was floored. I was overwhelmed and very grateful. Friends, relatives, and perfect strangers (mostly strangers) were giving me donations of $5-$200 with the sweetest notes of support. People where buying pie with $50 bills and not asking for change. I cried all over again when I realized I was going to be alright."

An excerpt from Sheridans response to the publics generosity.
  • An excerpt from Sheridan's response to the public's generosity.

It's a story tailor-made for the season, as the community rallies around a single mother to help her rebound from a crippling loss during the bleak winter cart sales period. "I still have faith there are good people willing to help out there," she says. "And that is something I wasn't too sure of on Saturday morning."

What of the overage? "After I exceeded the amount that I lost," Sheridan writes, "I immediately started of thinking of ways to pay it back. I have no intention of making a profit from this. I am so grateful just to get back to where I was."