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Empathy controls Andrew Acton to action in the face of calamity

By Todd Travis

It’s one thing to hear about another person’s struggle and to feel bad for them. It’s another thing to actually do something about it. 7-year-old Andrew Acton and his family were faced with this choice after hearing about the burglary that happened at Valkyries Vault, a local game store, last month.

On May 19 at 3:51 a.m. someone broke into the side door of Valkyries Vault and stole most of their “Magic the Gathering” cards – an irreplaceable collection that began from the personal collection of Chase Kahlo, co-owner of the shop. It was a truly devastating loss that has left co-owners Jessi and Chase reeling from the shock. Police were notified and are working on identifying and apprehending the suspect.

Andrew, a student at Lincoln Elementary, started playing Pokemon about two years ago with his cousin, Max. He developed a strong interest in the game and began building a substantial collection of cards over time. Valkyrie’s Vault became a special place for him because of the large selection of cards they carried.

“It’s the place that we often come to get cards and other things. This place has the most things that you could ever get.” Andrew mentioned.

When Andrew heard about the burglary, he felt sad and could not understand why someone would do something like that. Almost immediately, his reaction was to do something to help.

“Friday night we found out about it and when we told Andrew the news, he said he wanted to give some of his Pokemon cards back to them. He loves his cards. The next day after breakfast he mentioned it again. That’s when I knew he really meant it and it was staying on his mind,” recalls Lindsey Acton, Andrew’s mom.

Andrew Acton poses near the Pokemon cards at Valkyrie’s Vault (Submitted photo)

Later that day, they went upstairs to Andrew’s room and filled up a bag to bring over to the shop.

“I just gave them the strongest cards I had because I hoped people would like them and maybe start buying them,” said Andrew.

It was a proud moment for Lindsey Acton when her son presented his cards to Jessi.

“We met the owner of the store (Jessie Kahlo), who cried, and vowed to frame the card Andrew gave her that was his strongest card, because she said she could tell it was well-loved,” Lindsey Acton described.

When this happened to us, it was extremely disheartening. But we felt more prepared for that than for how amazing the people around here have been. That’s what really broke us in a good way, showing us that we can not only get through this, but also be able to get to a point where we can give back to the community what they so generously gave us,” said Chase.

In addition to playing Pokemon, Andrew plays the drums, practices karate, and plays sports. His favorite Pokemon characters are Mewtwo and Charizard. He already has the Mewtwo card and is looking to acquire Charizard soon.

“We’re very proud of him. Andrew has a kind heart. Being in education, there are many instances of negativity, but there are so many good things too. He’s one of the thousand kids around this country doing great things every single day. It’s pretty cool that we get to call him our son. I think one of the more special aspects of this is that he doesn’t really have a direct connection with them,” Jon Acton, Andrew’s dad, pointed out.

As a result of community support and donations, Valkyrie’s Vault is holding a raffle through June 7 to raise money to increase security and re-stock the supply of cards that was lost. To find out more about Valkyrie’s Vault visit their Facebook page and their website: valkyriesvault.net.

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