An elderly Esquimalt resident who had money stolen from her purse is in for a surprise just before the holidays.
Amanda Jenkins’s 73-year-old grandmother, Diane Brown, was at Hillside Shopping Centre last week looking for Christmas gifts for her family.
She has low income and is on old age pension so another family member gave her $1,100 to buy presents and some groceries in return for babysitting.
Unfortunately, while she was at Marshall’s at the mall, her money went missing.
Jenkins said she received a call from Brown who was in tears and explained that a man had bumped into her, causing her to fall over while she was shopping. The next thing she knew, the money was gone.
“She didn’t think anything of it,” Jenkins said. “And when she went to the cash register to pay she noticed he had taken the money out of her purse.”
Jenkins said she went to mall security and then the police who investigated the incident and told her she likely won’t get the money back.
“My nana is super low income,” Jenkins said. “She loves Christmas and she had all these ideas of what she was going to buy people for Christmas.”
Jenkins took to posting in a Facebook group about the incident to vent and also in the hopes that maybe the person who stole the money would see and understand her grandma’s story.
Shortly after, she began to receive messages from other members of the group who wanted to do something to help.
“A whole bunch of [people] started messaging me and offering to transfer me funds…$10 here and there,” Jenkins said. “It’s really nice, I didn’t think that would ever happen.”
Jenkins was able to raise $450 with the help of community members but due to guidelines set out by the Facebook group, administrators had to turn off commenting on the post. The group rules state that no posts about charities or fundraising are allowed.
Regardless, Jenkins said she was grateful for those that offered to help her grandmother out, especially since she did not ask for money in the first place.
She said she wishes she could help her grandma more but is a single mother who is in school and is not financially in the right place to do much more.
“Nana would be so grateful for whatever she receives,” Jenkins said. “She’d be grateful if I even gave her $50, she’s one of those people.”
Jenkins said her family will be celebrating Christmas together this year and is hoping to surprise her grandmother with the money before the 25th.
“I was sad to think that someone would do that to her,” Jenkins said. “But I’m also really happy that so many people donated.”
Those that are interested in reaching out to Jenkins can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.