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Theft of cherished kayak led to several acts of giving, says Abbotsford mother

Woman sponsoring birthday party for a child in Nunavut after overwhelming community support
A beautiful new kayak was given to Abbotsford mom Nikki Jensen after hers was stolen from her. She was also given cash to replace it, so she’s sending birthday supplies to a child in Nunavut. (Nikki Jensen photo/ Facebook)

For the last year and a half, Nikki Jensen and her young son have been enjoying spending time on the water together.

The mom saved for a long time to be able to purchase a kayak for their free time. They’ve been using it regularly, and it’s been an improvement in their lives.

And then, it was gone.

Someone broke into her secure parkade, cut the straps it was tied on with and took off with it. They even stole the pool noodles she’d been using as a roof rack.

She was heartbroken. Gutted. She put out an appeal to the public via social media for others to keep an eye out for it. She wondered if she’d ever be able to buy one again.

Turns out, she didn’t have to. When word got out that she was hit by a thief, a community member knew he could help. While he doesn’t want to be identified in the story, Jensen said she was blown away by his offer. He gave her a kayak that had belonged to his late father.

At the same time, money was being raised for her to buy a new one. Jensen’s story had been shared in a Facebook group for the Four Wheel Drive Association, and a few people each sent her $50 donations to get her back on the water.

She was moved beyond measure.

“I can’t stop crying,” she said on Facebook. “I’ve never owned a boat this beautiful in my life.”

She decided she had to do something to thank them all, so she rolled her sleeves up and starting making bread. She also starting thinking of what to do with the monetary donations.

A friend suggested something called the Northern Birthday Box Project. They match up donors with kids in Canada’s north. The donors basically sponsor a child’s birthday by purchasing everything needed for a birthday party here, and boxing it up to be sent up north.

Jensen was matched with a boy in Nunavut who is turning four and loves Spiderman.

“They don’t have access to things like party supplies, cake mixes, icing sugar, etc.,” she says. So now he’s gonna get the Spiderman birthday of his dreams! They say it takes a village, but sometimes it takes a country. The money donated to me came from several different provinces, and now it’s going to another one.”

She will be sending everything from cake mix to goodie bags to birthday streamers.

“This whole thing legit brought me so much happiness and faith back in humanity,” Jensen said. “It’s been a literal life changer for me perspective wise.”

She is hoping that by sharing her story more people will look into the Northern Birthday Box Project, something she wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for the theft that kicked of the series of good events.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” she said.

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Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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