KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After thieves stole John Patton's lawn mower and trailer a few weeks ago, members of the Knoxville community responded in true volunteer fashion.

Some of his family made a Facebook post saying what happened. Then the community took action.

A local crime Facebook group raised over $2500 through a GoFundMe account, and then Jefferson Co-Op and Dixie Chopper took the reigns to donate a new mower and trailer.

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Patton, who is also known as Papaw Patton, said he was completely taken aback at the generosity of the people who chipped in for the gift.

"I haven't ever seen anything like this before, and I haven't ever been in a party like this before," Patton said.

For John Messner, who helped raise money for Patton on Facebook, this was an opportunity to see a brighter side to this story.

"I just think it will shine a positive light on the community," Messner said. "I hope it just lets the thieves know they didn't win."

Most of the people who donated had never met Patton, but were overjoyed to be players in giving the gift.