Residential School Victim Donates $50,000 to Siloam Mission

William Woodford is an 85 year-old whom we should all look up to. Having gone through the residential school system from 1929 to 1942 (will have to double check those dates) and suffered all kinds of abuse he joined the military and fought for our country. Now, he has donated the money from the residential school class action to the homeless via Siloam Mission.

Here is the press release from the Siloam Mission. The press release was not updated to include the extra $10,000 he donated during the press conference.

WINNIPEG, MB, March 2, 2009— This past Friday, Siloam Mission staff at 300 Princess Street received a surprise when an elderly man – over 85 years old – walked in and donated $40,000 because the mission was helping his family and friends; the donation was the man’s residential school settlement.

“Included in the hundreds of people Siloam Mission serves daily is the generation of residential school abuse survivors and many of their family members. This donation is symbolic because it represents a tragic event in our nation’s history that has contributed to the problems that lead to homelessness not only in Winnipeg, but across Canada,” states CEO John Mohan. “I never cease to be amazed at the great things people do, especially, in this case by someone who was wronged so greatly. I personally express my appreciation to the donor.”

The elderly man, had never set foot in Siloam Mission and had never used the services offered by the mission. His only goal was to help out and give his money to a place that was doing a “good” work helping others – helping his family and friends.

Margret, the man’s niece, who is also elderly, lives in Manitoba housing and comes to Siloam Mission for her morning coffee.

When staff realized the amount of the donation a member came and spoke to the older gentleman, who was having coffee in the drop-in centre, and asked if he was sure that he wanted to donate such a large sum. The elderly man was adamant that this was what he wanted to do with his residential school settlement money.

Over 80% of those served at Siloam Mission come from an aboriginal background and many of those are victims of abuse.
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