Generosity overwhelms victim of car theft

Citizens help man who had just passed driver's test.

Moses Kamara gives the thumbs up to his new vehicle

Moses Kamara’s typically broad smile is even broader and brighter these days.

“I’m happy, I’m just happy,” he grins, as he sits in the driver’s seat of his new 2001 Toyota Highlander.

Kamara worked as a professional driver for 12 years in Sierra Leone before coming to Canada in 2014 with his wife Deborah, who is from Salmon Arm.

He drove in B.C. for three months with his international driver’s licence before the government took it away, informing him he needed to take the provincial test.

Although he speaks English, he doesn’t read well. Because of poverty, he couldn’t attend school in Sierra Leone and had to start working at an early age.

So when it came to B.C.’s written exam, he was in trouble. After failing seven times, he was finally allowed to have someone read the questions to him. Voila, he passed.

However, in a nasty twist of fate, two days after he passed the test, another road block arose.

When he went outside his home in the morning, he was shocked. The couple’s ’99 Honda Civic was gone.

Police found it two days later in Enderby, damaged beyond repair by the thief or thieves who stole it. The insurance money wasn’t enough to buy a new vehicle.

The Observer published an article about his predicament, and a woman who had never met Moses set up a Go Fund Me account for him, with a goal of $2,000. Other media outlets soon picked up the story.

The Go Fund Me account reached its goal and last month Moses received about $1,840 – that’s minus the approximate eight per cent taken off the online accounts.

“I never ever dreamed of this – it’s just a big surprise for me, and a blessing. People are so generous to me,” he smiles. “I never knew what is Go Fund Me – and people just started giving.”

The couple began looking carefully for a replacement vehicle. They found one online and immediately phoned the owner who was selling it because she was heading to Australia to work as a midwife.

“She was so friendly and nice. She helped us, she helped us a lot,” he says.

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Kamaras drove the vehicle home. Moses describes the night before they went.

“I don’t sleep – I was just laughing to myself. My wife said, ‘what’s happened?’ I said, ‘I’m just thinking about the car.’”

Moses gushes with gratitude about people’s generosity.

“God blesses people and God blesses me. Me and my wife want to say thanks and appreciation – thanks to the lady that started this Go Fund Me. We just want to say thank you to all the people who donated for us to get this gift. It’s a blessing and we really appreciate it.”

He says he wishes he could meet every person who donated to thank them personally.

“Whoever they are and wherever they are, I want to say thank you and God bless them. It means a lot.”

He’s grateful to the media, too.

He also points out that people in town have come up to him and given him money, particularly those associated with soccer, which he loves to play.

Even last week, someone at a soccer game offered him money. He explained he’d already bought the vehicle, but they wanted him to take it anyway, suggesting he use it for gas.

The cost of insurance has been a surprise to Moses.

He is over 30, but insurance for his new-to-him 2001 vehicle is $1,121 for six months.

Although he drove professionally in Sierra Leone, he can’t produce the insurance history that ICBC requires. That’s because, there, the company registers the vehicles for insurance, not the driver, and he didn’t own his own vehicle.

Driving in snow is a brand new experience, but Moses is enjoying it.

“If you’re a disciplined or careful driver, you don’t have to speed. If you speed (in the snow), you find yourself somewhere else,” he says, pointing towards the side of the road. “I drive with caution and give distance.”

He shows the inside of his new vehicle, which he’s keeping as spotless as the outside. He smiles broadly when he points out that the SUV has a great sound system.

“I am a happy man. I have my licence, and a vehicle, and I promise to take care of it properly. It’s like my baby.”

Moses emphasizes once again how grateful he and Deborah are.

“We really appreciate people. It’s like I belong in Salmon Arm. I fit here, and everywhere people just bless me.”

 

Just Posted

Okanagan Taste: Snacks and what to pair with them

Your guide to for the go-to snacks and beverage pairings for sports season

Dirty book sale

Penticton Public Library hosting its annual book sale

Search at Silver Creek property enters third day

A portion of the property has been cordoned off with black landscaping fabric

Regional district and city hoping to curb bad recycling behaviours

City of Penticton and the RDOS are teaming up to eliminate contaminates

October power disruptions planned

Summerland to upgrade switches at electrical substation

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Have you heard about Black Press scholarships?

Up to 37 scholarships are awarded each year to students throughout British Columbia

Most Read