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Vernon News

The letter that restored this man's faith in humanity

Save On Foods store manager Jim Tennant will be camped out on the roof until he raises his goal of 25,000 pounds of food.

VERNON - On his fifth night camped out on the roof of Save On Foods to raise contributions for the food bank, Jim Tennant was feeling low. Not because of the gloomy weather, and not because he hadn’t reached his goal of 25,000 pounds of donated food, but because someone stole a Salvation Army kettle, as well as the cash inside.

“The kettle had been cut clean off,” Tennant says.

The kettle was attached to a rope and under normal circumstances, Tennant would pull it up at the end of the day. Dismayed and disappointed, he reported the theft to police but will likely never know who was behind the act.

“Chances are they probably get support through the Salvation Army food bank so to steal from the hand that feeds you is pretty tough,” he says. “I hope when they woke up that next morning that maybe they hit a spot in their life where they thought ‘What am I doing?’ and changed their lives for good. That’s my hope.”

Friends consoled Tennant, reminding him to focus on the goal and not let a small setback ruin what he was doing. But it was a stranger who truly restored his faith in humanity.

The woman sent up a care package complete with warm, homemade borscht, granola bars, a candle, a wash cloth, a bar of soap—and a letter.

“Hello Mr. ‘Big’ Jim Tennant,” she wrote. “Not commenting on your stature size, you are big for your dedication and resolution for what you are doing. I’m on disability pension and also receive a care package from the Salvation Army.”

After winning some money through a local radio station, she didn’t splurge on herself; she decided to pay it forward.

"I pray that my contribution to your cause helps,” she said. In addition to the care package, she donated a trunk full of food.

“The night before, I was very depressed and that night I was happy. It was pretty touching,” Tennant says.

He will be camped out on the roof until he reaches his goal. As of Thursday afternoon, the campaign had raised roughly 13,000 pounds of food for the Salvation Army Food Bank. Monetary donations are greatly appreciated and used to purchase food.

This is the third year Tennant has camped out on the roof for the food bank. Visit him at Save On Foods in the Village Green Shopping Centre and help him reach his goal. 

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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