Steffani Cameron and Marc Smith

Chance meeting inspires good deed

Weather cancels 'kindness ambush,' goodies passed on to military families

A cancelled early morning fall flight to Las Vegas led to a broadening of perspective for Steffani Cameron and ultimately shaped her recent “senseless act of kindness” in Esquimalt.

The Victoria writer and longtime blogger was enduring a “travel day from hell,” preparing to sit in Victoria International Airport for a while, when she found herself next to a uniformed Canadian sailor heading south for some specialized training.

“Me and a navy dude were the first ones to grab our bags to get ready to check in again,” she says. “We wound up talking for about two-and-a-half hours. He said he liked going to the States because they always get treated like royalty down there.”

That statement got Cameron to thinking about how Canadians view the people who serve in the various branches of the military. Not only is no one close to her in the Canadian Forces, she considers herself a pacifist, for the most part.

Inspired by Vancouver friend and blogger Marc Smith’s 30 Days of Kindness campaign, Cameron had already been thinking about ways to show gratitude for unsung heroes in the community. Her airport encounter steered her toward an idea to show respect for the work and dedication of military personnel.

“I was torn between doing the 911 dispatch centre (or the navy base), but the kid on the plane was the deciding factor,” she said.

The original plan of handing out cookies to navy personnel coming in and out of the gates at CFB Naden in Esquimalt quickly expanded. With local merchants and others getting on board, she collected close to $2,000 worth of restaurant gift certificates, Royals hockey tickets, coffee and wine.

Local musical couple Paul and Lisa Jarvis, who have recorded as Mojave, even donated 100 CDs after randomly meeting Cameron in Chinatown and hearing of her plan. Both of the couple’s grandfathers served in the Second World War.

The frigid temperature on Friday kiboshed Cameron’s hope of “ambushing” unsuspecting service people with gifts. Instead, she and Smith presented the bags of goodies to Rick Dwyer, operations manager for the Military Family Resource Centre.

Dwyer said the upcoming MFRC volunteer appreciation night – all centre volunteers have connections to military families in the region – would provide a good start for handing out the gifts.

“And I know the coffee will be perfect for our deployment coffee nights and dinners,” he said of the social events put on by the centre to welcome newcomer families recently posted here.

Just Posted

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Esquimalt arson trial hears of feud with tenant before the fire

Wei Li charged with intentionally setting fire to a duplex he owned on Oct. 3, 2017

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read