An Edmonton woman’s nature walk took an unexpected turn when she discovered a small red pouch hidden in a nearby tree.
After reading the letter found inside the bag, Stacy Thorpe realized she had stumbled on a treasure hunt.
“There was a little gem inside. The letter described a boy named Jessi who died by suicide when he was 23. The little game was made in his memory,” Thorpe explained.
Thorpe was touched by the cause, as her father died by suicide back in 2003.
The hunt was created by Rhonda Card and members of her Facebook group, who complete random acts of kindness and charitable work in the Sherwood Park and Edmonton area.
“But, this treasure hunt… it’s taken us pretty much across Alberta,” Card said. “Jessi would give you the shirt off his back in a heartbeat. We just decided to keep that part of him going instead of thinking about the suicide.”
Card originally planned to hide 100 gems in Sherwood Park.
“Then, everybody and their dog got involved. The people who have hidden these gems range in age from three to 97,” Card said. “We’re having an amazing time. You can’t have any more fun than what we’re doing right now.”
More than 300 gems are now hidden in various locations in the Edmonton area and as far as Banff. If you find one, you can collect a small prize.
“If you can bring a smile to somebody’s face… what’s wrong with that? If you can make a difference, do that.”
For Thorpe, the discovery came at the perfect time.
“I was feeling a little bit down when I went out in the woods that day. I had just been let go from my job three days before,” Thorpe said. “It was just… fate.”
The two women are now in touch with one another and Thorpe plans on volunteering with the group.
“The best way to brighten your spirits is to brighten someone else’s spirits.
“I really feel blessed that I found the package in that tree,” Thorpe said. “Rhonda has taken a tragedy and has been able to turn it around,” Thorpe said.
“I learned it from my kid,” Card said. “Having that big heart is everything.”