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In September 2013, someone or some people stole the apples from a tree on the front lawn of Doris Lemke’s home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She had planned to use the apples to make applesauce for her son, Richard, age 22. He has cancerous growths on his thyroid and adrenal glands; a genetic condition causes the growths. She wrote a note titled “WHO STOLE MY APPLES?” and posted it on Kijiji, an alternative to Craigslist. The posting went viral, and Chris Pollock, marketing manager of the Kelowna-based company BC Tree Fruits, learned about it. He also decided that the company would give Ms. Lemke a crate of approximately 100 Royal Gala apples. He said,  “We obviously have apples at our disposal. It’s a pretty simple thing for us to do but it goes a long way for someone in need, so I thought it would be a great way to help her out.” The apples came from the growers’ cooperative in the Okanagan Valley. Mr. Pollack added, “People support others in need, and I think you’ll find that in various situations everywhere across the world — not just in Canada, Saskatchewan, or B.C. [British Columbia]. While there are some out there who aren’t the brightest and do stupid things, there are more people who mean well and do well.” Other people have responded well. Following the theft, Ms. Lemke often found bags of apples left anonymously on her stoop. She said, “There are many needy people and I know the most important thing isn’t an apple. But when you have a sickness in your family or something that’s really bad, sometimes it takes an unexpected sweet deed to make you appreciate life again.”

For Further Information: Jacob Morgan, “Stolen apples: Saskatoon mom gets sweet donation from B.C. company.” Metro News (Canada). 9 October 2013


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