RICHMOND, Va. -- "You're going to have some ups and downs. You're going to some failures that you think is a failure, but they end up being blessings, so we got a blessing."
What Richard Waller, Jr. describes as a blessing are the moments and events following the night when his family-owned business, Waller and Company Jewelers, was looted during the protests in downtown Richmond last month.
"This whole case was just full of watches. This whole case was full of watches. I had silver chains up in that area. That was loaded down with chains . I had men's jewelry in this case," Waller said.
The damage was significant, and the value of lost merchandise even greater.
"Probably 35 or $40,000," he said.
Waller and Company Jewelers was founded back in 1900 by Richard's grandfather Marcellus Carrington Waller. The store is now celebrating its 120th year in existence, the last 40 years in its current location on East Broad Street, and has been passed down through four generations.
When word spread of what happened to Waller's store, “the blessing” he referred to began to shape.
"We had about 75 kids, young people, from Virginia Union, Virginia State, VCU, sororities and fraternities, jam-packed! All out in front of the store with shovels, mops, brooms wanting to clean up," he said.
Not only that, last week, a Go-Fund-Me account was started to help pay for the damages, and has thus far raised more than $47,000. Waller says he's amazed by all the support.
"It touches my heart that people think that much of us. And we think a lot of them because we need them, but I never expected to get that kind of benefit from our customers,” he says.
Waller also said he has forgiven the thieves who broke in and looted his store.
His kind heart and strong spirit also will not allow this situation to shut down his store because as he explained, Waller and Company Jewelers is here to stay.
"These are only things and things deteriorate, or get smashed, or get stolen. But no matter what, I'm going to be here! I'm going to open up,” said Waller, Jr.
Watch Rob Desir's "Our RVA" reports Wednesdays on CBS 6 News at 4 and 5:30 p.m. If you know someone Rob should feature, email him at Rob.Desir@wtvr.com
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