A theft of an elderly couple’s luggage from their car on Wednesday near the Royal Canadian Legion in Maple Ridge won’t stop the Salmon Arm residents from attending their son’s wedding.
An elderly couple en route to their son’s wedding in North Vancouver made a pit stop in Maple Ridge to meet their daughter. The couple stopped at the Legion in Maple Ridge before visiting their daughter’s home.
When they came out to their car, they found their luggage had been stolen.
Jessie Stretch, who is one of the organizers of the Facebook group Maple Ridge Tax Payers Against Tent City, heard about the theft through social media and rallied members of the group to help go looking for the stolen items.
He said when they came up empty handed, they decided to fundraise to help replace the couple’s items.
The group raised $1,435 and presented it to the couple that night.
“Our group has banded together and we are collecting donations to give to these poor folks so that their terrible experience in Maple Ridge can be put behind them and the generosity and kindness of our community can shine through,” said Stretch. “It’s overwhelming the support we are getting.”
He said the couple was reluctant to accept the money at first. Stretch said the husband is a Second World War veteran and understands that people of that generation have a harder time accepting a helping hand.
“They were so upset they were going to skip the wedding and just go home,” he said. “But we convinced them to stick it out and go to the wedding. It was an emotional moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
Stretch has also been collecting used needles from public parks the past few months.