BY KEITH LACEY
The generosity and kindness of strangers will ensure a Merry Christmas for a single mom and her teenage son who were victims of random acts of thievery.
Chantal Paquin approached Northern Life two weeks ago after her 14-year-old son?s bicycle was stolen. Thieves later stole a box of cherished Christmas decorations from a shed outside her Chelmsford apartment building. She wanted to appeal to the thieves to return the items.
After reading the story, Deborah Bisson and the staff at the Scotiabank branch in Chelmsford decided they would do something to help.
Last Friday, staff from the bank presented Mario Paquin with a brand new BMX bicycle.
?After reading about the family, our branch manager Bernie Belland just thought it would be a really nice gesture if staff all chipped in to get this young
boy a new bike,? said Bisson, manager of customer service. ?All of the staff were more than glad to help.
?I?m new to this branch, but I already know of the history of staff here who try and assist various charities and organizations around Christmas. This year we just added purchasing this new bike, and we hope it helps make Christmas a little brighter for this family.?
It most certainly will, said Paquin.
?My son is thrilled with his new bike and it will certainly make Christmas a lot better around here,? she said.
?I can?t thank the staff at the bank enough for their kindness and consideration.?
Several strangers from Sudbury have also dropped by offering donations of various Christmas decorations.
?I didn?t know any of these people, but they were kind enough to drop off the decorations at my place and I really appreciate what they?ve done,? she said.
Three other people also offered to purchase a bike for her son, she said.
Northern Life also received several phone calls from readers who wanted to help.
Paquin said she still finds it very upsetting thieves would do what they did, but says she?s found a lot of comfort in the kindness of strangers.
?I thank everyone who has helped us out during this very difficult time,? she said.?God bless, and I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday