One such Canadian is Mara Soriano, a 28-year-old storyboard artist who lives in Vancouver’s West End. She left a Herschel backpack in front of a U-Haul she and her fiance had rented to move when she ran to help a friend who had been in a car accident. She didn’t have time to tell him that she’d left the bag nearby, and by the time she returned it had been stolen.
Inside the backpack was an iPad, Nintendo Switch, checkbook, passports, insurance documents, and something even more valuable: a teddy bear with an audio device that contains a recording of Mara’s mom saying “I love you. I’m proud of you. I’ll always be with you” in their native Filipino.
Mara’s mom died after a long battle with cancer last year, so the bear is literally irreplaceable.
“It was so important to me because she had a recording on it that was specifically just for me that said she loved me, she was proud of me, and she’ll always be with me,” Soriano told CNN. “I hugged it every time I missed her.”
Reynolds saw a tweet from a CBC journalist trying to get the word out about the bear and retweeted it to his 16.2 million followers, a huge help in and of itself. He also publicly offered a $5,000 reward to whoever returns the bear to Mara, no questions asked.
Vancouver: $5,000 to anyone who returns this bear to Mara. Zero questions asked. I think we all need this bear to come home. https://t.co/L4teoxoY50
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 25, 2020
The bear remains missing as of now, but Mara’s chances of being reunited with the last recording she has of her mom’s voice are much impoved thanks to Reynolds’s willingness to help out a Vancouverian in need.