Image shows people carrying bags into the facility.

Stolen Christmas charity gifts taken at Burlington GO leads to an outpouring of holiday spirit – and plenty of warm clothes

Following the break-in of a vehicle at a GO station – where gloves, mittens and hats destined for a front-line Hamilton outreach group were among the items stolen – Metrolinx sent out a call to help replenish the swiped presents. And yes, the response was enough to grow your heart three sizes.

There’s no good time to have your car broken into, and no stolen items that don’t leave a pit in a victim’s stomach

But when a vehicle was robbed while parked at the Burlington GO Station earlier in December, the loss was a hit to the holiday spirit.

Among the items stolen from one of the vehicles were 30 pairs of gloves, hats and mittens that were to be donated to the Hamilton area outreach group – The Hub.

The Hub is located in downtown Hamilton (not far from Hamilton GO) and does a lot of work around poverty, homelessness and addiction. While it serves the entire community, there is a lot of focus on helping teens.

People are seen carrying the bags from a vehicle.
Donations are taken out of the back of a Metrolinx vehicle, and delivered to The Hub. (Matt Llewellyn photo)

To help replace the stolen goods, and get them to The Hub, Metrolinx’s Media Relations team sent out a call to fellow staff for donations. Bags and bags of new socks, gloves and winter hats were collected – about three times the goal – and today (Dec. 23), it was all handed over to Olivia Divinski, the owner of the vehicle that was ransacked.

“It’s absolutely amazing, I don’t even care about the car anymore,” said Divinski. “I’m just so glad that something negative turned into such a positive, especially around the holidays.” 

Image shows people carrying bags into the facility.
The donations head toward The Hub, and people who can use the warmth. (Matt Llewellyn photo)
Image shows bags of clothing.
Bags of socks, gloves and hats were collected. (Matt Llewellyn photo)
Image shows a group lined up.
From left to right, Olivia Divinski, outreach workers from The Hub, along with Metrolinx customer protective services and Hamilton Police, accepting the donations. (Matt Llewellyn photo)

This isn’t a story about patting the backs of Metrolinx staff – though, those who organized the collection or contributed to it deserve a shout-out. But it is more of a reminder that no matter how some spend time looking for wrong ways to take things away, there will always be those who will come together to make things right.