DRACUT — Since she was a teenager, Sylvia Robinson, now 89 years old, made a point to give a percentage of the money she earned baby-sitting and shoveling coal to the less fortunate.
The Dracut resident, a retired pastor at South Congregational Church in Lawrence, found a new target for her generosity after reading a crime story that recently appeared in The Sun.
Robinson’s hope now is that others will follow her lead.
The story involves 19-year-old Cameron McCormack of Dracut. McCormack is charged with armed robbery after he allegedly used a pellet gun to rob a man at Hovey Field in Lowell on Dec. 28, according to a police report.
McCormack was captured by police on Pleasant Street in Dracut shortly after they say he stole $26 from the 25-year-old he met via an undisclosed website. Police reports say McCormack immediately admitted to the crime when he was approached by Dracut police Officer Greg Gaetano.
“I’m the guy you’re looking for,” a police report quotes McCormack as saying, prior to being read his Miranda rights. “I robbed the guy.”
According to the police report, McCormack went on to tell police he decided to rob the victim to help fund his rent.
McCormack’s honesty to police and the struggle he expressed spoke to the warmth that makes Robinson who she is.
“When I read the story I thought that maybe this kid just needs to know that somebody cares,” she said. “Maybe he just needs a shot in the arm.”
On Wednesday afternoon, while sitting in her living room on Thissell Street, Robinson wrote a $100 check to McCormack with the hopes that she can track him down and give it to him.
Robinson isn’t sure how much McCormack’s rent is, but figured $100 is a start. Now a member of Christ Church United in Lowell, Robinson added that maybe others will lend a hand when they see her drive to help.
Robinson is also hoping that an expression of generosity changes the trajectory of the 19-year-old’s life, and works toward her goal to combat the number of homeless in the area.
“People sometimes just need to know that others care,” Robinson said.
McCormack, who was released on his own recognizance following his arraignment in Lowell District Court, is due back in court on Feb. 15.
An attempt to reach him via social media and a phone call to reach his attorney were unsuccessful. A knock on the door of the home McCormack listed in court records also went unanswered Wednesday night.
Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis