Postmaster Barbara Ten Bos is fundraising for the Harrison Mills Community Hall after a break-in before Christmas. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Postmaster Barbara Ten Bos is fundraising for the Harrison Mills Community Hall after a break-in before Christmas. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Bottle drive rallies Harrison Mills for hall repairs

The Harrison Mills Community Hall suffered a holiday break-in at the post office

Barbara Ten Bos is hoping a few bottles will be able to fix up the Harrison Mills Community Hall after a devastating break-in before Christmas.

Around 5 a.m. on Dec. 20, the Canada Post office inside the community hall was burglarized. The community hall was damaged in the process. Ten Bos, the postmaster for the area, said the thieves cut through the exterior door and kicked their way into the post office.

“It was very well planned,” she said. “They took the hydro meter off the wall, knocked the sirens off the building.”

This has not been the first time the post office was targeted and the hall damaged. In Ten Bos’s two and a half years as postmaster, the hall has been hit three times. The postmaster before her had seen break-ins as well.

FROM 2016: Thieves hit post office at Harrison Mills

Thankfully this time, Ten Bos said, the stolen mail was returned and no one lost their packages over Christmas.

The hall has since been given beefed up security, including steel doors, to prevent more break-ins in the future.

(This has been the third break-in in nearly as many years that Ten Bos has seen at the hall.)

But,” she said, “the damage that was already done is obviously in need of repair.”

At the beginning of January Ten Bos put out a call on Facebook to collect bottles in support of the hall’s repairs.

“Over these last 10 months they have been unable, like so many others, to have events and generate any income,” Ten Bos wrote in her Facebook post.

“I would like to have a bottle drive and am inviting anyone that has bottles and cans to please drop off during post office business hours between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.”

Her goal was to raise $1,500 for repairs.

In the few days since she put the call out, she has raised nearly a third of that amount.

“We’re very thankful for the support already, and it’s just starting,” Ten Bos said.

The Sasquatch Inn provided a cash donation for the repairs, and other individuals and businesses in the community have donated money and bottles as well.

Several people also said they would be willing to donate supplies for the repairs themselves.

“We do live in a very caring, supportive community,” she said. “And we all need to be thankful for that.”

Anyone interested in supporting the Harrison Mills Community Hall bottle drive can contact Ten Bos via Facebook, or call the Harrison Mills post office at 604-796-1299.

Bottles can be dropped off at the post office between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Editor’s note: an earlier version of the article could have been interpreted as the fundraising going towards post office repairs. The funds will all be going to support repairs of the hall itself.

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