It’s not the start to Christmas that Kyle Larocque had pictured.
Two bags of presents worth thousands of dollars disappeared from his truck while traveling from Lumsden, Sask., to Calgary.
Larocque believes the suitcases were stolen sometime during the eight-hour drive. He said there’s no way the suitcases could have been tossed from the truck.
“We had our bungee cords and straps holding stuff down but we didn’t think about people.”
Larocque was determined to make sure an early Christmas still went ahead as planned and made a trip to Sunridge Mall. His hope was to replace some of the stolen presents.
One stop for a few kitchen supplies brought him to Think Kitchen to pick up gifts meant for his children and spouse.
When he was asked by an employee what he was looking for, and said he was re-buying some gifts, he was met with a generous surprise.
“It was time for me to pay so I said: ‘How much is it?’” said Larocque. “They just smiled at me… They shook their heads and smiled and said: ‘Merry Christmas.’”
Ali Ahmadi and Natasha Spencer had split the $22 bill for the gifts as a way to help out the family.
Both employees said past experiences helped them realize that even the smallest gesture can help during the holidays.
Ahmadi said he’s no stranger to stolen presents ahead of the holidays.
“A couple years ago my family’s house got broken into,” he explained. “Even when people helped us a little bit, that felt really good.”
Spencer said the recent kindness of customers prompted her to help out.
“We’ve had a couple incidents where customers have come in, bought stuff and given us gifts. So it was us paying it forward,” said Spencer.
Larocque’s partner said the small but meaningful act of kindness has inspired them to help out in the future.
“I think we’ll try and come up with something to help someone else in need or who’s fallen on hard times,” said Kerstin Johnson. “Maybe not even at Christmas, but throughout the year.”
Brooks RCMP said they investigated but because there’s no way to find the gifts or whoever stole them, the case has been closed.