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New Jersey woman sends Mantecas little hero a thank-you gift
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Little Alesaundra Tafoya, 3, received a special gift on Monday from a reader on the East Coast city of Galloway, New Jersey. She said she was so touched by the girl’s quick thinking in going for firemen when her daddy needed help that she had to send her own “Precious Moments” doll. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin
A large cardboard box was delivered to the Manteca Bulletin office Monday morning bearing the name of “The Little Hero:  Alesaundra Tafoya”. It came from a woman in New Jersey who has never met the three-year-old Manteca girl.

She first e-mailed the paper and said that she wanted to send the young girl a present for her effort and quick thinking in saving her dad’s life.  She wanted it to be something she would have later in life to better remember what a great thing she had done.  It would be a doll that she had cherished as her own.

The parcel post box had been trashed in shipment, but the doll remained intact for an in person delivery at the Tafoya home by a Bulletin staffer Monday about 5 p.m.    

Her mother read the note that was found inside the box.  It was from the caring New Jersey woman.  It read, “Hello Alesaundra – Little Hero.  I read on the computer the wonderful action you took to help your dad.  Your family must be very proud of you.  I hope you enjoy and have fun with this doll.  God Bless You.”

The 3 year-old has been praised by emergency response workers for walking two blocks on her own to a nearby fire station when she could not awaken her father who she said was cold to the touch. She walked hand-in-hand with firefighters back to her house while a fire engine followed them.

Doctors credit the girl for save her father’s life.

 Alesaundra was excited in seeing a box just for her and could hardly contain herself to see what was inside.  She was still recovering from the exciting time she had at Saturday’s Oakland A’s baseball game where she and her family members,  as well as the firemen who went to her dad’s aid,  were all on the field during pregame activities.

She got hugs from the A’s mascot Stomper and A’s pitcher Dallas Braden of Stockton.  Her brother Frankie was equally excited with his signed baseball from the A’s.

For a 3-year-old she seemed in awe at the Precious Moments doll with its long curly hair and leather shoes.  The big yellow bow in the hair was something that she really focused on while holding her new dolly.

Alesaundra’s mother Dawn told her daughter they would have to be very careful to take care of it and might put it into a curio case where they could both look at it every day and keep it safe as it was something very special.

With the doll came a small wooden trailer with miniature stuffed animals along with a sign that read: “Puppies for Sale.”