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Steveston senior, 86, reunited with forgotten savings

SOS Children's Village Thrift Store tracked Fern Finn down after it found $1,200 of her "secret savings" in some donated items
Fern Finn had forgotten about $1,200 of "rainy day" savings when she moved out the family home recently. The charity she donated items to found the money and tracked her down

Most of us have heard the phrase “paying it forward.”

Well there can be few incidents more appropriate for its use than the one that played out between the SOS Children’s Village thrift store in Steveston and 86-year-old Fern Finn.

As the story goes, Finn and her late husband, Ron, supported the charity for many years, helping to fundraise for all kinds of events.

Finn, being very thrifty herself, apparently started squirreling away cash for a rainy day some 25 years ago, placing it in old greeting cards for safe-keeping.

“Whenever I came home from the bank, I would always just put a little away in the drawer, for you know, just-in-case,” said Finn.

This fall, however, Finn’s family packed up her belongings, donated many items to charity and helped her move to her new home at Wisteria Place, an independent living community in Steveston.

And with all that entails moving out of the family home and starting a new life, she completely forgot about the secretly-stored “rainy day” savings.

But a couple of weeks ago that she received a call from the staff at the SOS Children’s Village Thrift Store, who had tracked Finn down thanks to documents in one of the boxes donated.

They were asking if she might have donated something by mistake. 

It was only then that she remembered the secret savings and, within a few hours, her cards and $1200 of her hidden, “just-in-case” money were reunited once again. 

“They do such wonderful work helping children,” said Finn, adding that SOS has been her favourite charity for a long time. 

But the paying it forward chain doesn’t end there.

Finn came up with the idea to wrap up nearly 30 small gifts to put under the tree at Wisteria Place. 

And anyone can purchase one of her “treasures” by making a small donation to the SOS Children’s Village.

When asked, what kind of things were in the parcels, she said, with a smile, “just some of my favourites.” 

“Fern’s Favourites” will now be a special part of the spirit of giving at Wisteria Place as they look forward to partnering with SOS Children’s Village Thrift Store in Steveston. 

SOS Children’s Village BC, based in Surrey, provides support and family stability in a community-integrated village of 10 foster homes and five suites for youth aging out of care.