On Monday morning, the Observer wrote a story about a theft which affected an 81-year-old’s ability to get around.
It struck a nerve with many who read it and the people of Quesnel rallied to rectify the problem.
Thanks to the generosity of Ron Caskey, Maude Wales was gifted a replacement mobility scooter this morning, just five days after the original story was written.
“I read about it in the Observer,” says Caskey, a former school teacher who has lived in Quesnel for 30 years, “And what really got me was that someone would stoop so low to steal something like that which they’re not even going to use.
“It really pissed me off.”
But ultimately, it was not about the thieves and Caskey wanted to make it right.
“It’s the Christmas season, so it’s the time for giving,” he says.
Caskey heard about a scooter that the Lions Club had and decided to buy it for Wales.
He called up Shaneen Smith, another concerned Quesnel resident who was spearheading some fundraising initiatives after seeing the original post online, and the pair went to check out the scooter at Maple Park Mall.
They made sure the sizing was correct, as it had to fit on The HandyDART, and then Smith got in touch with Wales.
“I called her and said I’ve got a big surprise for you. Do you want to come down to see it,” Smith says, “She said she did, so I picked her up and took her to the mall and it was exactly what she needed.”
Smith is surprised but delighted with the end result.
“It took an unexpected turn,” she says, ‘I didn’t expect that to happen.
“Ron was amazing. I don’t even know how to thank him, so we just hugged him.”
Smith, like Caskey, was initially drawn to the story by a sense of anger.
“An eighty one-year-old woman shouldn’t have to worry about something like that,” she says, “She should be living out the rest of her days with independence and she got that stolen from her.”
Thanks to their efforts, however, a sense of balance has been brought back to the lives of all affected.
“I feel happy,” says Wales, “Today has been a good day. It hasn’t even been a week since I discovered it was gone.”
She credits her faith for the good tidings.
“I praise God that he’s answered my needs,” she says, “He moved peoples’ hearts and got them involved.
“I thank every one of them too.”
For those that did donate money towards a new scooter, Smith says the money will still be passed along to Wales, so she can have a good Christmas.