'Tears coming again': mysterious group helps woman honour cousin
Patti Chisholm never expected an anonymous shipment of hygiene products to show up at her workplace.
After the mysterious death of her cousin, Patti Chisholm was hoping friends, family and maybe a few local companies would pitch in to help keep Saint John homeless shelters in stock.
She wanted to help prevent a murder like that of her cousin, who lived a transient lifestyle in British Columbia.
She never expected a huge, anonymous shipment of tampons, diapers and laundry detergent to show up at her workplace from a group of strangers in British Columbia.
"Tears [are] coming again," Chisholm said about the act of kindness.
Murder in Vancouver
When her cousin, Lisa MacPherson, whose charred remains were discovered in a remote outdoor shelter near North Vancouver in January, was identified as a victim of a grisly murder, Chisholm reached out the student health centre at the University of New Brunswick Saint John where she works.
She said an organization helps keep the health centre stocked throughout the year and she wanted to acquire contact information to see if the same could be done for the local shelters in Saint John.
Teresa Monteith, who lives in British Columbia, said when she read about the grisly murder and the pain Chisholm felt, she knew she wanted to help.
She is truly the hero in my eyes for staying brave and strong and being a voice for others.- Teresa Monteith, donor of supplies
Monteith said she and a small group she declined to identify had leftover supplies from another project. She figured Chisholm could utilize the hygiene products best.
"I just did something that I felt was right for Patti and those she helps out. She is truly the hero in my eyes for staying brave and strong and being a voice for others."
Chisholm communicated with Monteith through email and was expecting supplies would arrive "in dribs and drabs."
"I didn't see a pallet coming, no," she said, laughing.
Chisholm estimates 20 boxes arrived at the university late last week and each larger box contains multiple smaller boxes of 76 tampons apiece.
This is also the first of many shipment Chisholm expects.
Chisholm also didn't know the shipment came from a mysterious group of strangers.
"The samples were more of an anonymous donation-in-kind for Patti to share with those in need that I was able to put together for her," Monteith said in an email to CBC. "No credit needed here."
Monteith said in an email to Chisholm she lit a candle on her desk for MacPherson when she heard the story.
"This is way to honour Lisa and remind people homeless people are people too."
This is way to honour Lisa and remind people homeless people are people too.- Patti Chisholm
Chisholm said the shelters don't know the supplies are coming, partially because recent storms have prevented her from transporting them. She said Coverdale Centre for Women will be receiving the tampons and diapers but the laundry detergent will most likely be divided.
She knows these are much needed supplies.
"Anything is better than nothing but this is so much more than anything," Chisholm said. "Tears still in my eyes."