Millie Fisher has spent her life serving her family, her country in the armed forces, and her community in the Ceres Police Department and charitable efforts.
Now it's her turn to be served. After her house was ransacked weeks ago and family heirlooms were stolen, the community is rallying around her to help the disabled Marine veteran undo the damage caused by criminals.
Fisher, a lifetime member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, returned to her home on Midway Avenue outside of Ceres on Sept. 27 to find the house was ransacked. A number of sentimental items were taken, including her dress blue Marine uniform, her great-grandmother's brooch, an antique World War II pistol, and her personal recipe book.
Clean-up in the wake of the burglars has been slow due to her physical limitations, but she has been appreciative of the help she has received from friends and the community who have begun assisting her with repairs caused by the criminals who entered her house.
She is trying to stay positive and said, "I just feel surrounded by love...I am overwhelmed."
The monetary value of the stolen items is estimated to be $10,000 and unfortunately, not all items will be covered by her homeowner's insurance. In addition, she is now facing approximately $5,500 in repairs and improvements to secure her home.
An account has been established at Valley First Credit Union (account #199369 for cash or check deposits, and #78600000199369 for electronic transfers) for donations to assist her with the financial losses associated with the burglary.
Fisher served as a Marine Corps sergeant under Admiral John S. McCain Sr., father of U.S. Senator John McCain. After retirement from a successful 25 year law enforcement career, Millie has devoted her time to serve others. Several times a month, she makes lunch and delivers it to local first responders and has spent many holidays with them. Despite being on a fixed income, Fisher kept track of the Ceres firefighters' growing families and managed to purchase Christmas gifts for their children one year. She has baked cakes for swearing-in ceremonies, catered personal events for her friends, and solicited donations for the 2012 City of Ceres Employee Appreciation Luncheon and other functions, earning her the nickname "Millie-Mom."
In August 2012, she created the "Pay it Forward Computer Project" to raise funds to purchase computers for three impoverished children in her neighborhood. She also mentored and encouraged the children to work towards being the first in their families to attend college, and her connections to put them in touch with role models to support them as they prepare for higher education. Millie spent countless hours making tamales, enchiladas, salsa, and cobblers to sell for her cause, even accepting unused fruit and vegetables from people's gardens to turn into delicious treats she could sell.
This was the second time that Fisher has been the victim of theft. On May 8, 2010, the night before a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for youth programs in Ceres, approximately $2,000 of Millie's personal items was stolen from a local hall and never recovered.
Meanwhile, detectives are looking into the theft and hoping tips from the community lead to arrests and return of Fisher's property. Anyone who may have information about the break-in or the whereabouts of the stolen property is encouraged to contact Detective Tonya Smith at 538-5730 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips may also be anonymously reported to the Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 1-866-60-CRIME or by texting tips to 274637 with "TIP704" included in the wording.