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Strangers step up after cash stolen from Orillia senior's wallet

Taisto Makivirta, 81, dropped wallet while out for a walk; after it was returned without money, strangers and family pitched in
2020-05-12 Taisto and Kiira
Taisto Makivirta is shown with his great-granddaughter, Kiira. When Makivirta lost his wallet Monday, the community came together to replace the cash that was taken. That included a $20 donation from Kiira. Supplied photo

Within three hours on Monday, Amanda Harvey and her family saw how low someone can go and how much a community can rise up to help.

Harvey’s 81-year-old grandfather, Taisto Makivirta, was out for a walk when he dropped his wallet. He didn’t realize it was gone until he returned home.

After retracing his steps, he found out someone had turned the wallet in to the Shell gas station on Memorial Avenue. He was relieved to find his ID and other cards were still in the wallet, but horrified to see that the $380 in cash was missing.

Harvey made a plea in an Orillia buy/sell/trade Facebook post, asking whoever had the money to return it, with no questions asked. They got the money, but it wasn’t from the person who took it.

People began asking Harvey for her email address so they could send her e-transfers. The first person to donate gave $120. Her family kicked in some money, too, but the full amount was raised after someone asked how much was still needed and then donated that amount.

“My jaw just dropped to the floor. I’ve never met these people or heard of them,” Harvey said.

One little helper she knows very well also did her part.

Before anyone had donated online, Harvey’s six-year-old daughter, Kiira, emerged from her room holding a $20 bill and some coins from her piggy bank.

“She said, ‘I want to give this to Taisto because he needs it more than I do,’” Harvey recalled.

The money was a birthday gift, so her mom asked her if she was sure. Kiira assured her mom she wanted her great-grandfather to have the cash.

“I would love for her to continue being so generous as she grows up,” Harvey said.

When she delivered the donated cash to her grandfather, “he was very surprised.”

“There’s such nice people here,” he told her.

Harvey thanked everyone who donated money and shared the Facebook post.

While the thief made off with the cash, “maybe they’ll feel bad, at least,” she said.

“Karma will come for them.”


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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central Ontario news desk in Simcoe County and Newmarket.
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