Social media campaign reunites Comox grandmother with her family keepsake

Facebook appeal reaches person who bought desk at thrift store; desk returned

  • Mar. 3, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Dianne Murray has her beloved elementary school desk back

Terry Farrell

Record staff

A Comox lady has her beloved elementary school desk back, thanks to the efforts of the Comox Valley Record Facebook followers.

Dianne Murray came to the Record office on Friday afternoon, heartbroken.

A family keepsake had gone missing.

She was having her apartment painted and an “all-in-one” type of desk (desk and seat used in elementary schools) was put outside, into the apartment hallway. It was mistaken for a donation to the St. Joseph’s General Hospital Cottage Thrift Shop and was taken to the hospital.

By the time Murray could get to the thrift store, the desk had already been sold.

“My children and my grandchildren used that desk, and now my great grandchildren don’t have it to play on,” she told The Record on Friday afternoon. “I don’t know what to do. I feel awful.”

The Record social media team knew exactly what to do.

A picture of Murray, looking at a picture of the desk, was posted to Facebook Friday night, with an appeal to all Record Facebook friends for shares and likes.

By Monday morning the thread had been shared more than 750 times and had reached an audience of 42,000 people – including one Eileen Tamemoto.

“I was passing by (the thrift store) and saw it sitting there,” said Tamemoto of how she originally came across the desk. “I figured, ‘hey I could do something with that’. It wasn’t a big deal, not like I needed it. My son was (harassing me) for bringing it home so I decided I would see how much it was worth. I Googled it and the (Facebook) page came up and I read the story.”

She then called the Record and was given Murray’s phone number. Tamemoto dropped the desk off Tuesday morning.

When Murray found out about how the community took her story to heart, she was momentarily at a loss for words.

“Wow. Just wow,” she said. “That is amazing. It’s nice. It’s not bad news. It’s something soft and caring and it makes you feel good. It’s nice to know that people realized how much this (desk) means to me and they were willing to help me find it. I’m so glad I got it back.”

“Absolutely amazing,” said Murray’s daughter, Kelly Brimacombe. “It kind of restores your faith. I got the feeling from people who were sending me messages over the weekend that they really cared. It’s kind of refreshing.”









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