An Enderby business owner went from tears of panic to tears of joy after losing a substantial amount of cash and having it returned.
Faith in humanity has been restored for River Johnson, after she lost a money bag containing $7,000 cash Tuesday, June 2, at Vernon’s Walmart. She had left her shop in a rush that day to take her elderly parents to the store to get some essentials.
The money, which she puts in a security box each night, was with her (as she wasn’t going to leave it in the car), but somehow got misplaced during the shopping trip.
”I was in tears,” said Johnson, who got home and was panicked to find it missing.
She figured it must be at the store, and despite being closed by this time, someone answered the phone when she called. She couldn’t believe her ears when a man told her that he had indeed found her money and it was safe and sound.
“He’s an unspoken hero, he saved my business,” said Johnson, who owns High Status Cannabis in Enderby and recently opened a second location. “I’ve had wallets lost with less than that in them and never returned, or returned without the money.”
She immediately wondered if even she would have done the same thing, had she found the money.
And then she learned the man who found it, a Walmart employee, was losing his own business and more due to COVID-19. The man is the owner of 9Round Fitness, which recently announced it cannot reopen.
“If I found that, I don’t know what I would do if I was close to losing my house and having all these problems,” said Johnson, wondering if any of the people she knew would even do the same. “But he didn’t do that. He made sure I had my money back.”
Johnson is desperate to repay the man, but Walmart policy won’t allow staff to accept anything, not even a coffee.
She has reached out to Ralph Buisine and is hoping to repay him somehow.
“I couldn’t believe the humbleness that he had,” said Johnson. “I want to hug the guy.”
She hopes the community will also help her repay this kindness by supporting this man. A GoFundMe has been set up for Ralph and his wife Mily, but has raised less than $1,000 towards the $5,000 goal.
At the very least, she hopes he story will spread some love at a time when we could all use a little lift.
“With all the hate going on in the world I think people need to hear this right now,” said Johnson. “There’s still love in the North Okanagan.”