A mom from Lorette is feeling moved after hundreds of people reached out to help locate her daughter’s snowmobile which was stolen this past Friday.
Chanelle Cournoyer says her four-year-old daughter’s brand new sled was stolen early Friday morning, just before the family left to a cabin in Lac Du Bonnet for their first snowmobile trip of the season. Between Cournoyer’s Facebook post outlining the situation and news stories, word spread fast. It seems people just wanted to help.
“I received hundreds of messages in my inbox. People were taking pictures, they were sending me camera footage, I couldn’t believe it,” Cournoyer comments. “I think the biggest thing is that it was a kid’s sled and people were just really mad about that.”
In their messages, individuals not only offered their assistance in locating the missing snowmobile but also in purchasing a new one, if need be.
“People were trying to give me money to buy a new one, people were trying to start a GoFundMe page, and people were even putting up ads asking to buy the little sled to try in order to bait the person who took it!”
Despite the sudden outburst of generosity, Cournoyer says she received no reasonable lead. The family decided to head out to Lac Du Bonnet without the sled. Meanwhile, the mother could not bring herself to inform her child of the theft and held onto hope that somehow the situation would turn itself around.
“She was ecstatic and I just wanted her to have a nice night on Friday because she would get out to the cabin too late to snowmobile anyway,” states Cournoyer. “I was going to tell her on Saturday.”
Throughout the evening, messages continued to pour in from people who were eager to help. While most tips were not directly useful, eventually one hit the mark; a photo of her daughter’s sled with a location. That was all they needed. A few hours later, the snowmobile was found at a property North of Winnipeg and was recovered without incident.
“By the time she woke up the next morning, it was sitting there.”
Cournoyer resolved not to trouble her daughter with the details of the sled’s disappearance. She does, however, thank everyone who offered encouragement, information, and even cold cash (to which she declined).
“When communities work together, you can really make an impact in these situations, my faith in humanity is restored,” she remarks. "I really appreciate everybody pulling together because they felt a little girl should not go a season without sledding.”