Local news Van Nuys sometimes contains heart-warming stories of residents who do wonderful things for others. Here are two examples:

Secret Santa Pays Off Layaway

Shaka Robinson, a Van Nuys single mom to a three-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son, was diligently making Christmas layaway payments to the local Toys “R” Us store. When she could no longer pay her regular bills and also pay off the balance from her salary as a medical office secretary, she went to the store to return about half the gifts.

To her astonishment, a “Secret Santa” had paid off her $300 balance! As she looked forward to her children’s delight on Christmas morning, she was sorry that she didn’t know who her benefactor was because she wanted to thank that wonderful person for being an angel, renewing her hope, and vowing to pay it forward in whatever way she could.

Lego Courthouse Replica is Amazing

Rev. John Van Nuys, pastor of the Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church, spent more than 100 hours building the extremely accurate model of the Montgomery County Courthouse using 20,000 Legos! The replica is 32 inches high, 50 inches long, and 40 inches wide.

He was so determined that it be exact that he used a Lego Digital Designer program to get the information that he needed to design the project. Then he had a huge chore to find all the pieces and parts needed and ended up having to order from suppliers in 31 states and from 10 other countries!

His reason for doing that project was to help the local clock tower committee raise the rest of the funds for a clock tower, which he included in his replica, to adorn the historic building in coming months. He waned to show how beautiful the town would be with the clock tower addition and felt that it will enhance the downtown.

He began the courthouse project on July 27 and was able to finally finish it in December, one day prior to the county council approving a plan to complete the funding of the clock tower construction and installation. However, his goal is to encourage donors to give to the clock tower fund because, as of that time, over $78,000 in private donations still needed to be raised.

The replica was placed outside the commissioners’ meeting room and was then put on display at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.