When Maude Pontel returned the Shield of Athena’s 2007 blue Dodge Caravan last Wednesday, she thought she left it in a safe place.
It came as a surprise when Pontel received a call from her boss Melpa Kamateros the following morning, asking where she had parked the minivan.
“Somebody stole that van, I couldn’t believe it,” Kamateros said.
The minivan was an integral part of the organization, which helped transport victims of conjugal violence — who cannot get by in both official languages — to their shelters, and was also used to receive donations.
“It’s our conduit that provides food and the necessary resources to the women and children that stay there.”
The van which seats seven was needed on Thursday morning to escort participants to an event at the Cinema Guzzo in Laval, Que.
But when Kamateros went looking for the van, it was gone.
“Community organizations are very adaptable. They have to adapt to unforeseen unpredictable situations,” Kamateros said.
They adapted by splitting the passengers into three cars.
In the end, they made it to the event they helped organize and filed a police report the following day.
But the question of how to continue services still lingered.
“Instead of one person driving a van that can receive all those donations, many of us have to go, and we have many things to deal with,” Kamateros said.
By the end of the day Wednesday, Shield of Athena got a brand new van which was a donation from Avon Canada.