It was a dark month of December for the Cowichan Brain Injury Society. In fact, it was looking like it could be their last month. “In my mind I was thinking worst comes to worst were going to have to go rent a storage shed, put everything in it and then just wait until we can move on,” said Cowichan Brain Injury Society Executive Director Chris Rafuse.
While already on the verge of losing their Duncan location, further disaster struck. On December 9th Rupert Scow, the head of the Center’s highly popular carving program, headed out to their shed, only to realize that 10,000 dollars worth of tools had been stolen.
“It was disheartening to look around the room and realize that a theft had happened,” Scow said.
The program, which helps people with brain injuries cope with issues like depression, anxiety and PTSD, looked like it would be no more.
But enter the Vancouver Island Blacksmith Association, they’d heard about the theft, and knew they could help.
“We just sort of started a conversation inside of our normal Facebook group, saying we gotta do something. This is something that’s right up our alley, and we have the capacity to do a good deed,” said association member Rob Sainsbury.
Today roughly a dozen members of the association packed into Elice Automotive shop to weld an entirely new set of carving knives, replacing the set that was stolen. “We have members that have had brain injuries and issues like these guys deal with and just hearing that they’ve had this hiccup, it was like no we’re going to fix that,” said Sainsbury.
And gratitude was on full display. “What they’re doing is beyond great for us, it’s beyond kindness and words,” said Scow
“We’re going to every year give them a carving to show how thankful we are,” added Rafuse
While the blacksmith association is helping rebuild their set, several power tools are still needed. Anyone wishing to donate can visit the brain injury society website for contact information.