Last week a colleague and I met a donor for lunch for a stewardship visit; the donor’s recent gift had been generous. My colleague has known this gentleman for some time.
The donor is a humble man who gives regularly but this last gift had been an exceptional one. As we talked about the impact of his recent gift, and about his life and family, it became clear that he wanted to recount his experience making this gift.
This gentleman, now in his 70s, had been an immigrant to Vancouver from Uganda in the early 1970’s – just ahead of Idi Amin’s purges. Arriving in Canada with his wife and two children and very little else, he had to start over. He found work, then started a business and slowly built his fortune. When his children were teens, his family split apart and he gave nearly everything to his wife and children.
Once again he had to start over.
And this is how people remember him, not at the peak of his wealth but starting over.
An important memory of this donor’s young life was a gift his father made to a local school. He remembered how much it meant to his father to support education. He the donor himself never finished his degree. Although he won a scholarship to a university in England, his father had died suddenly and he was called back to Uganda to run the family business.