50 Good Samaritans on Train Help Refugee Family Navigate New Country

50 Good Samaritans on Train Help Refugee Family Navigate New Country

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GO Transit train CC Danielle Scott

When a Canadian woman offered to help a refugee family, appearing lost and confused at a train station, little did she know she’d be just one of 50 people coming to their aid.

Valerie Taylor was on her way home when she spotted the family in Toronto’s busy Union Station. The Syrian family, a mom, dad, and six kids — one of whom was disabled — were trying to make their way through the busy terminal. They had two baby strollers, several large bags, and only one member — an 11-year-old boy who spoke any English.

He explained to Taylor they had only been in Canada for four months and were trying to get to a town 50 miles away to visit relatives, but didn’t know which train to take. Taylor, going in the same direction, offered to lead them to their platform.

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After they were underway, Valerie found out the family actually meant to go to another town, London, Ontario, 60 miles farther away — and on a different train line.

Suddenly, passengers started pulling up train schedules on their phones, looking for the best connections to get the family where they needed to go.

Valerie spoke with an employee of the GO Transit railroad who figured out a connection, but the transfer would cost the family a few hundred dollars — more money than they had.

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The strangers again rallied to help, taking up a collection to pay for the transfer.

Valerie got off the train with the family to help buy the tickets, but as she was entering their information into a ticket kiosk, another passenger ran up telling her not to buy the tickets.

The railroad was sending a bus to take the family to their destination, but when they realized that would take a long time, and one of the children was disabled, they put the family in a couple of taxis for the last leg of their trip.

 Valerie says she was overwhelmed by the number of good deeds performed by perfect strangers in a matter of a few hours.

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“It really was quite amazing,” she told CBC News. “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.”

(Photo: Danielle Scott, CC)

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