A family road trip for the Waugh family was interrupted when their truck was stolen in Red Deer.
The Waughs were travelling from Fort McMurray to Kelowna.
“Honestly I’ve never had a loss like that, and I don’t think our family has ever had a loss like that,” Christine Waugh said.
“We didn’t have anything. We didn’t have clothing because we’d just carried in a quick little overnight bag. And we didn’t have anywhere to go, so what are we going to do?”
The truck was carrying a trailer with all of their Christmas gifts, plus two sleds.
“It was like this shock… I just felt disappointment,” Scott Waugh, their 11-year-old son, said.
Jim Waugh said he was frustrated that their belongings were stolen.
“But the bigger thing was that we had gotten ready for Christmas, we were on our way on a family trip, and now that’s all gone, like, ‘how are we going to make Christmas for the kids?’ That’s the number one thing,” he said.
The parents left the decision up to the kids: turn around and go home or keep going to Kelowna.
“I figured we might as well keep going because otherwise it would have been worth nothing,” Scott said.
The family rented a car, drove to Calgary and caught a flight to Kelowna.
Meanwhile, they posted their situation online, hoping their truck would be spotted. Word spread quickly.
Wanda Marsman’s husband noticed suspicious tire tracks on their property near Red Deer.
“I’d just shared Christine’s post on my Facebook page about the truck and trailer being stolen,” Marsman said.
The couple went to investigate and found the missing truck, trailer and sleds. The Christmas gifts were gone, but some belongings remained.
Marsman wrote the family on Facebook.
Christine said she was in tears when she found out the truck had been found.
“I’m sitting there bawling my eyes out because I’m like, ‘they found it.’ The gifts aren’t there, but those are minor, those are things we can make work, but our belongings are there, and it was like this huge relief.”
The Waughs said the community support from complete strangers has been overwhelming.