I read a story in the Vancouver Sun this last week that keeps popping into my consciousness. The story is about a man in northern BC who won a lottery this fall. His lottery ticket brought him a sizeable sum of $25 Million, not bad for an ordinary citizen as he sees himself. I was some impressed with the choices this person has made with regard to his winnings. I won’t give you his name as the article made it quite clear that this ultra-generous soul wants anything but fame or even recognition. I got the definite impression that this is someone who absolutely has no interest in being or becoming a celebrity. Instead here is someone who seems to understand how much, money in this case, is enough to sustain oneself and their family for that matter. He did the safe thing and invested the majority of the winnings and thus should be sitting pretty for quite some time. His family, a daughter who loves with him and another relative have also been given a sizeable chunk of the change.
These actions seem typical: giving to family, investing; but it is what he is doing with the rest that is not usual. Apparently this kind soul has not had an easy life and has had several untimely losses in his life and a lot of grief before those final losses. He is a hard working small town guy who obviously has one big heart. His guy did not want to talk to the media so kept his comments very short and sweet. The rest of the story is supplied by the many people who have benefited from the win without having had to buy the lottery ticket.
The lucky guy made sure that the clerks in the tiny convenience store where he bought the winning ticket got a taste of the win – they each got a cheque for $10,000 and the store manager got $20,000. His neighbours, a young couple trying to make ends meet were also given $10,000. This they said will make their dream of opening a day care in their basement a reality. The local gymnastics studio struggling to replace flooring from an unintentional fire alarm flood was handed $5,000, his kids had benefited from use of the gym so he thought why not help the gym out. This guy has given cheques of various sizes ($1,000 to $10,000) to over 14 local businesses depending on the size of their staff and it goes on and on. I liked that he also bought new trucks or cars for a few buddies only if they agreed to give, not sell their current vehicles to someone who could not afford to get their own.
I love this guy!! I have often ranted about people with millions of dollars (and still trying for more) and wonder why any one person needs that much. When is enough enough? Here is a millionaire that gets it! He knows enough to keep plenty so that he no longer has to worry about money ever again. Now he has an opportunity to do what according to his brother, he has always been—be really generous. Community is also important to him and therefore he is setting up a $2 million dollar foundation to support vulnerable people in his community and his community only. I would bet that these individuals will do much better through the help of this foundation than they would through the regular human service systems that are supposed to be designed to support them. Hooray! So not only did one man win a lottery, an entire community won. I love this guy even more.
I take my hat off to this wonderful human being and hope that the greedy, scheming, devious individuals who will try to be his friend do not destroy or undermine his honest and heartwarming generosity.