When I told them that, before coming in that morning, they broke open their piggy banks and they put all their money in this bag with a bow. —Arely Sandoval
PAYSON — It may not seem like a lot of money, but for a single mother of five, $700 was all she had.
Now, Arely Sandoval hopes the person who found the cash will return it.
Sandoval lost an envelope full of money she was going to use to pay her monthly bills. She processes Medicaid paperwork for patients at Mountain View Hospital in Payson.
With two boys and three girls, ranging in age from 2 to 12, she admits finances are tight.
With the mortgage and utility bills due, Sandoval went to the credit union a few days ago and withdrew some cash. She had told her kids there wasn't going to be enough money to cover all the bills this month.
"When I told them that, before coming in that morning, they broke open their piggy banks and they put all their money in this bag with a bow,” she said breaking down in tears. The coins from those piggy banks totaled $68.
Sandoval put all the money, including the coins, into an envelope, and placed them into a file folder. Wednesday afternoon, before she had a chance to pay the bills, Sandoval took her kids to the hospital to attend a children's function.
As she was getting the young children out of their car seats, she had her oldest child hold on to the folder that contained all the money, plus a few receipts.
Fifteen minutes later, Sandoval took the folder from her son.
"So I opened it, I was like, ‘Where's the envelope?’ And he said, ‘What envelope? And I said, ‘That's the money to pay our bills.’"
They started looking for it. They went back to the parking lot to see if they could find there.
“When we went outside, we saw the receipts on the ground, and that's when I thought, 'Oh, my goodness. Somebody took it,'" she said.
Sandoval notified the hospital and filed a police report. With nearly 1,000 people, including about 650 kids, attending the Teddy Bear Clinic, she's hoping maybe somebody noticed something.
For now, Sandoval hopes other family members will help. Fellow employees have already stepped up.
“After hearing her story, several employees have felt bad for her and donated money for her bills," said Ryan White, director of communications at Mountain View Hospital.
"I felt really bad because my little boy was crying. He felt like it was his fault. That just broke my heart,” Sandoval said.
The hospital is still examining security video. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Payson Police Department at 801-465-5240.