Dylan Thorne

Dylan is the deputy editor of the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Offers restore faith in people

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I wonder if the thieves who stole an Ohauiti family's supply of firewood appreciate the harm they caused.

The Bay of Plenty Times spoke to the Foster family only hours after they returned from a trip to Fiji to discover their supply of firewood, more than 3 cubic metres, had been removed from their shed.

The trip had been anonymously donated to the family with all expenses paid.

Father Rob Foster is dying of stage 4 bowel cancer and finds it hard to cope with cold weather.

The family can't afford to buy any more wood while living on a sickness benefit.

The firewood itself was another generous gift from friends and family to help get the struggling family through winter.

No doubt the free trip and the donated firewood had encouraged a positive view of human nature.

But what greeted them when they got home from Fiji would have brought them crashing back to Earth.

The Fosters are dealing with the terrifying reality that Mr Foster is dying.

What does it say about those who carried out the burglary that they would make things worse for this family by stealing their firewood?

The story prompted a strong reaction from readers.

Phonecalls and emails offering the family firewood - ranging from a small boot load to an entire truck full - flooded in to the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday.

Mr Foster said he was staggered at both the generosity of the public and their quick response.

This reaction is not unusual - there is a well-spring of generosity in every community.

People who are prepared to help others in need.

Hopefully, the reaction from readers has restored the Fosters' faith in their community.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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