At times, the people who truly are the less fortunate can really be the ones to lead us by example. One homeless man in Canada donated $10K (CAD) to a shelter’s charity outreach program.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, took the money out of his residential school settlement money and donated to the Street Outreach Services (SOS), in Thunder Bay, Ontario. According to Magic 99.9, the settlement money comes from “compensation packages [that] recognize the damage inflicted by the residential schools and compensate the many indigenous children who were torn from their families to attend the institutions.”
The donation was needed by the organization, since it faced a temporary suspension back in March due to a lack of financial support. According to CTV, Alexandra Calderon, the development officer at the shelter, explained that, “I actually thought I had misread the cheque…I was floored. The support worker actually had tears in her eyes!” She reportedly tried to return the money, but it was to no avail.
SOS helps provide transportation, blankets, and water to at-risk members in the community. It also helps in situations involving hospital trips and police. Calderon explained that the man had friends who were helped by the program. “He has a personal relationship with a lot of his friends who live at the shelter or who live at our managed alcohol program so he wanted to make sure that there was someone that they could call when they needed help,” Calderon said.
“We kept saying how grateful we were and we were all in tears and he started crying,” Calderon said, “It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. It was surreal.”
According to Calderon, $200,000 is needed to keep the program going for a full-year. They already raised around half of the amount, and hope that news of the man’s donation will inspire others to give what they can to keep the program going. At the very least, people are starting to become inspired by the story.
“Anyone I ran into and told about [the story] had tears in their eyes,” Calderon said.