Sidney family whose house burned down gives back to community

WatchA Sidney family who lost their home to a fire two weeks ago has seen an outpouring of support from their community. But today, even after losing everything, they're returning the favour. Jasmine Bala has more on how.

The Taverner’s received an outpouring of support from the Sidney community after their house burned down last month, and now, they’re returning the favour.

“It’s nice to give back to the community that’s given so much to us,” said Bob Taverner, owner of the home. “And even if it’s small… you know, it’s nice to just do something.”

Taverner is a long haul driver and his truck is his livelihood. The family is participating in the IEOA Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive, lighting up their big rig to collect donations for others who are also stumbling onto hard times.

His truck was one of the only things that survived the fire.

“Fire was coming out of the garage and my truck was parked right in front of the garage,” he recounted. “So I hopped in, fired it up and moved it out of the way and the taillights and everything are melted in it but they still work.”

Shortly after the fire, he and his wife decided they would still participate in the parade — especially after all of the support they’d received from their community. Neighbours and friends created two GoFundMe pages, offered the Taverner’s a place to stay and provided lots of support.

“I’m getting guys calling me on the radio when I’m out on the highway saying ‘hey, I heard what happened, I hope everyone is OK,'” Taverner said.

His wife, Janine Taverner, has had similar experiences.

“It’s been incredible and it’s been overwhelming and it’s hard because on one end of the spectrum we’re completely devastated but then on the other we’re so thankful and grateful for the community that we live in,” she said.

Participating in the truck parade is something the Taverners do every year. But this year, it has a little more meaning.

“Just with all the turmoil and uprooting the past couple weeks, we just want to keep some of the fun stuff in our lives and try to keep things as normal as possible for our daughter,” she said.

Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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