Four friends whose Christmas was ruined after thieves ransacked their Winter Valley house have had their faith in humanity restored after an outpouring of community support.
After news broke that thieves had ransacked their house, stealing more than $15,000 of goods including gifts from under the Christmas tree, Ballarat businesses, friends, neighbours and complete strangers stepped up to help replace the items and offer replacement gifts.
"I'm still a bit shocked and upset but the support we received from the community has literally eased the pain and left me feeling a bit emotional," said Alisha Eliades.
Ms Eliades had left for work around 7am on Monday and returned home after 4pm to find the doors open and every room in the house ransacked.
The four friends, who met at university, had only been living in the Winter Valley home for four weeks and had yet to organise any insurance.
Avalon Nursery and In the Sticks cafe offered gift vouchers to replace the lost Christmas presents while other small businesses offered gift boxes and other goods to help give back some Christmas spirit.
"I woke up to my phone beeping and loads of messages which goes to show how lovely the community is," Ms Eliades said.
And a stranger set up a Go Fund Me page for the women. "Let's virtually gather round these four young women as a community, and help them restore some of what was taken," Lisa Laine wrote on the fundraising page.
"Victims of home invasions can suffer many knock on effects. In this small way we hope to do what we can, knowing we can't possibly fix it all."
Ms Eliades said the initial shock had subsided but she was still remembering smaller items that had been taken.
At least $15,000 worth of valuables were stolen - including computers, printers, a Fisher and Paykel clothes dryer, a bar fridge, passport, jewellery, cash, clothes, shoes, handbags, makeup and bedding.
One of the most upsetting though for Ms Eliades was a file that was taken that contained all her important documents, passwords, passport and other items.
"Now they have everything about me," she said. "I've changed as many passwords as I can remember, cancelled bank accounts and it feels almost like we've had a house fire and I've lost all my important documents."
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Ms Eliades now believes the thieves threw everything they were taking on to the beds then used the bedding to carry the items away.
Despite experiencing the darkest side of people and feeling the violation of thieves robbing her home, Ms Eliades feels blessed to know there are so many lovely people in the world.
"My state has completely changed. Tuesday was an absolute bummer and I thought it would be a really s****y Christmas but it's turned around," she said.
"The four of us had already bought each other presents which were under the tree. We are still going to have our own early Christmas but we'll just do it with food instead of presents, then we'll travel home to our families for Christmas Day."