Mental health is a problem that affects many, yet receives far less attention and public funding than is needed to make a meaningful impact. An anonymous donor in Toronto felt so strongly about the issue he — or she — gave $100 million to the Centre For Addiction & Mental Health. This incredibly generous endowment will enable CAMH to undertake research focused on understanding disease mechanisms, improving diagnosis and finding new ways to treat or even prevent mental illness. Darrell Louise Gregersen, head of the CAMH Foundation, said, “We are eternally grateful to this donor for investing $100 million in our capacity to generate world-leading discovery, and to invest in some of the high-risk, high-reward research that usually doesn’t get top funding priority.” The results of CAMH’s work will benefit not just Canadians but people all over the globe. Recycled Diamonds
Salvation Army kettles are synonymous with the Christmas holidays at shopping centers as passersby drawn by the sound of the ringing bell toss in spare change or a few bucks without breaking stride. However, last year in Michigan, a widow dropped her diamond-studded engagement ring worth tens of thousands of dollars into a kettle, taking a moment to tell the stunned attendant it was in honor of her late husband. She then strode away into the crowd. News of the generous gift resulted in many items of jewelry being dropped — anonymously — into kettles throughout the state and across the country as others were inspired by her selfless generosity. A check for $500,000 was found in a kettle in Minnesota. The donor’s only request was complete anonymity, saying it was made in gratitude for Salvation Army’s volunteers providing coffee and snacks to soldiers during WWI, one of whom was the donor’s recently deceased grandfather. Bitcoin Bonanza
Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are making news every day with their soaring increases — and occasional decreases — in value. Their unique nature makes them ideal for anonymous donations, as seen in the 2017 gifting of $117 million in Bitcoins by a mysterious donor known only as “Pine” to establish the Pineapple Fund. The Fund’s official website, PineappleFund.org, lists groups and causes that include the Water Project, providing clean water to Sub-Saharan Africa; and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights watchdog group. Pine made the endowment for altruistic reasons and to inspire people across the world to seek out their own worthy causes. The website explains that Pine said he — or she — had more money than could ever be spent, so the decision was made to give most of it away in the hope of improving the lives of people they would never meet.
Not all gifts come in the form of cash or valuables; some are designed to be exactly the right thing at the right time. For many years, Toys For Tots and the U.S. Marine Corps have teamed up to collect gifts at the holidays to give to underprivileged children all across America. As a South Florida example, thousands of motorcycles gather in Broward County each December to stage the largest Toys For Tots event in the country, closing down streets and highways for hours as they deliver toys to Markham Park. However, one donor in Indiana decided last year giving just one gift was not sufficient. The person arranged for a semi to show up unannounced at an Indianapolis Toys For Toys collection center. Inside the trailer were 20 pallets of toys, totaling more than 4,000 toys. This incredibly thoughtful gift ensured happy holidays for every single child on the list; more than the center had ever been able to arrange.
Kitties & Kiddies
The glass donation box at the Pasadena Humane Society is usually filled with singles, fives and loose change. But one quiet afternoon last year an anonymous donor dropped $8,000 in cash into the slot at the Neely Cat Center. In addition to cats, the Center also takes in dogs, caring for them until they are adopted. This gift ensured food, medical attention and bedding for many pets for months. On the other side of the country, Camp Barnabas in Connecticut is devoted to children with special needs or suffering from chronic illness. The facility is designed to allow them to take part in summer camp activities otherwise not available to them due to physical limitations and budgetary concerns. Last summer, 130 kids went to camp thanks to a very generous anonymous donation of $100,000. The joys the kids experienced participating in crafts, swimming in the lake and singing around nightly s’more roasts will stay with them forever, making the donation priceless and well worth every penny.