- Video report by ITV News Correspondent Damon Green
Pensioner Nancy Liddle was left distraught when she discovered her life savings had been stolen from her home in Whitby, North Yorkshire.
A widow with no family, the 93-year-old had withdrawn around £3,000 in cash to pay for her own funeral.
But when she found the money was missing she "sat and I really cried for a long time," she told ITV News.
"I sat on the settee and I couldn't believe it.
"I kept saying: 'That money, all I worked for'."
All was not lost, however, Nancy's friend Mark Bradley stepped in and decided he had to help.
The taxi driver who takes Nancy into town each day for her shopping said "initially I didn't really know what to do.
"I just mentioned it to my children and they said, 'Dad please will you give Nancy our pocket money?'".
Starting with just a few pounds, people around Whitby began digging deep to replace the stolen money.
The community raised "four to five hundred pounds" in just a few weeks.
By Thursday more than £2,000 had been pledged, leaving Ms Liddle "overwhelmed".
With the stolen money looking set to be entirely replaced by donations, Nancy said "there is kind people about".
She added: "I've always been independent, but seeing everybody's got together and done all this...
"I'm very grateful".