Small towns, big hearts: the power of rural communities

A few weeks ago, we had some tools stolen from one of our service vehicles at the farm in Fairlight. Knowing it is harvest time, with lots of equipment being moved around, some opportunistic thieves decided to walk away with about $5,000 worth of Milwaukee drills and other tools. 

And, we weren’t the only ones. Apparently,y the thieves hit some of our neighbors too, stealing gas and equipment.

My mechanics were not happy campers, and neither was I. It’s disheartening that thieves exist in big and small towns, and choose to strike at one of the most important times of the year. As if there wasn’t enough to worry about during harvest?! 

Facebook group provides some leads

Rather than lose faith in humanity, I decided to turn to Facebook for help. I was pretty doubtful it would work, but thought, why not give it a shot? Facebook/Meta gets a lot of knocks, but I’ll say one thing, we do have a great community on our HGV Facebook page.

I posted about our lost tools and within a few hours, our post had been shared hundreds of times with lots of comments and personal messages from folks trying to help.

Through our neighbors, we learned the suspicious vehicle was a green/grey half-ton, and it was seen around 11:30 pm on the night in question. A few days went by and more messages and details came to light.

Eventually, someone got a picture of the truck, including the license plate and even a picture of the suspects’ faces – a man and a woman in their mid-30s.

Within a week, the RCMP had apprehended the suspects and we had our tools back. The tips and messages that everyone provided helped immensely. It turns out the thieves had thousands of dollars of stolen items from a number of local small businesses.

To the 563 people who shared our post and the 42,000+ who viewed it, THANK YOU! And I’d like to give a special shout-out to the Moosomin and Carlyle RCMP detachments for taking our call seriously and following up on all tips.

Rural neighbors show up for one another

This is why we love working and living in rural Saskatchewan. Even though I don’t know everyone on our Facebook page personally, they all jumped in to help. They genuinely care about their neighbors and that community spirit always comes through in tough times. 

Whether it’s thieves, a health crisis, economic hardship or helping out a neighbor during harvest, rural neighbors rally together without hesitation. In rural areas, the true meaning of neighbor isn’t just about living close to one another, it’s about being there for one another. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I just don’t think you get that same type of feeling in an urban or even suburban setting.

The same day that our tools were found we had a neighbor bring their son for a ride in an X9 combine. Not too long ago he had been in a serious accident and although paralyzed from the waist down, this young man is a testament to grit, a positive mindset and rural roots.  He recently donated 50% of his 4H steer proceeds to STARS. Once he was in the combine it was obvious he could do way more than just ride and within 3 hours he was running the X9 on his own. It was a good day all around. 

You simply can’t replace rural neighbors, communities, and values. We are very proud to operate in rural southeast Saskatchewan!

And as for my mechanics, they now have two sets of Milwaukee tools, and have never been happier.