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Winnipeg woman accidentally donates diplomas

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A Winnipeg woman is asking for help after an act of generosity turned into an unexpected loss.

It started last week when Maureen Terra received an unexpected Facebook message from someone she didn't know. "It had a picture of my certificate for my call to the bar from the Law Society," said Terra. "The message just said he had seen it in the ReStore on Archibald."

Terra had recently donated to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 60 Archibald Street after moving offices and clearing out a few unwanted items. In the process, she had donated boxes of items to various charitable organizations across the city.

However, Terra had not intended to donate a box full of her many framed educational diplomas, certificates and awards that had been packed in the move.

Terra began searching for the box as soon as she received the Facebook message.

"In a panic, I ran around the house looking for the box that was supposed to have all my diplomas in it, and that box appears to be missing. So looks like I probably donated the wrong box," Terra said.

Unfortunately, by the time she reached out to the ReStore, all her framed certificates had already been sold, including the one she was messaged about.

The missing diplomas hold great sentimental value for Terra, as they were framed by her grandmother, who used to run a framing business in Carman. The framed documents included Terra's Law Society certificate, her Robson Hall Law Degree, her University of Waterloo undergraduate degree, and likely her notary public certificate.

Terra believes the items were bought from the ReStore for their high quality frames, as the documents have no monetary value. She's hoping anyone who might still have the certificates will return them.

"I would love to just take the certificate - they can keep the frame - because I can't imagine my certificates have any value to anybody other than myself," said Terra.

She plans to order new copies of the documents where she can, but regrets the loss of the frames.

Despite the setback, Terra is glad she now knows the box is missing. "A complete stranger actually did take the time, he found me through a Google search, found me on Facebook, and then sent me a message," she said. "It kind of restores your faith that there are some really good people out there."

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