Red Deer’s Sharon Vanin got a little help removing a tree from some neighbours she had never even met. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Red Deer’s Sharon Vanin got a little help removing a tree from some neighbours she had never even met. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Red Deer woman awestruck by kindness of neighbours

A Red Deer woman has been telling her friends, family and anyone else who will listen about the couple she calls “the best people to have in the neighbourhood ever.”

Sharon Vanin, a retired mental health support worker who has lived in Red Deer for 17 years, recently decided she was going to remove a small tree that sat in her front garden, right next to the walkway that leads up to her home in the Anders on the Lake neighbourhood.

This past Tuesday she began the process of removing the tree.

“I came out first the morning, cut off all the branches and break up some of the big ones. I was down to the stock and the base of the trunk, which was … thick,” she said.

“I’m sitting there with a hammer and chisel and thought, ‘I’ll do as much as I can and then I’ll go on Kijiji and find somebody with a chainsaw to get it levelled off.’”

A truck then pulled up and a neighbour, who she had never met, asked if she needed any help.

“I said, ‘I would love that.’ He told me they live just up the street and he’d be back in five minutes. Then five minutes later, he and his wife pull up in the truck, he jumps out and he’s got an axe, a saw and a spade.”

Vanin told the neighbour if he can help level the base of the trunk, she could then take it from there.

“He said, ‘Well would you like the whole thing dug up?’ I said I would, but that’s a lot of work. ‘It’s no problem,’ he says,” Vanin said.

“Before long, he had the whole root ball out, threw it in the back of his truck. His wife and I were sitting on my front steps watching. Then afterwards he says, ‘Well, do you have any other jobs for me?’”

Vanin said with all the sad news out in the world right now, she wanted to share a story like this.

“There really are some good people out there. This was just lovely. I’m still telling about it, I was just so impressed,” she said.

“It was so kind and I just needed to share this wonderful feel-good story. It’s something that’s so nice to share, beyond our (COVID-19) numbers going up, or a shooting, or a stabbing. We need to know about all that, but it doesn’t do a lot to boost your morale or your faith in people.”

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