Valerie Taylor was travelling home on a particularly hot day in Toronto when she spotted a lost looking family in the middle of Toronto’s busiest train station, Union station. Little did Valerie know, she would be one of nearly 50 people to help the family, on a commute that would become more than memorable…
The family Valerie helped had just arrived from Syria four months before and wanted to get to Ancaster, 85km from Union Station. They were laden with two baby strollers and several heavy bags, having packed up their entire lives, and only one of the children, a boy of 11, could speak any English.
As Valerie took them to the right train, helpers appeared almost out of nowhere. Strangers offered to carry the family’s bags, some gave up room on the train to allow them to sit together.
“Right away people started trying to problem-solve. It was just ‘we have a goal, we have to get these people there.’! – Valerie.
As luck would have it, even with all the help, the family – and Valerie, who kindly accompanied the family on the train – had ended up on the wrong train! There was another train they could catch, but it would cost several hundreds of dollars, much more than they’d brought with them to Canada.
Cue everyone helping on the train with as much gusto as those in the station. People offered money, and called friends who spoke Arabic so they could communicate better. Everyone was so helpful, in fact, that the young boy even became a bit suspicious of why everyone was helping a family of refugees that hadn’t been in the country five months!
Valerie decided the best thing was to pay for their train tickets herself but, just as she was paying, another miracle happened! A staff member at the train station had spoken to the head office who had arranged a taxi for the whole family to take them safely to the family members they wanted to stay with.
“It was really just groups of random strangers coming together to just do the right thing and help this family connect with their relatives for the weekend. If this was somebody who was here from Victoria or Calgary or St. John’s or Syria – it didn’t matter.” – Valerie.
Valerie’s Facebook post, which has been shared over 25,000 times, details the whole thing. With the unfortunately increasing amount of refugees, the world could definitely use many more Valerie Taylors!