The big-hearted soul gave a record-breaking $100 million to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, located in Toronto. Yes, a $100 MILLION donation to charity. And, the donor wishes to remain anonymous, seeking no applause or public praise for their unbelievably selfless gift.
The CAMH tweeted about the gift this month, calling it a “phenomenal act of generosity, courage, trust, foresight and leadership.”
We'd like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to the anonymous donor who gave CAMH this breakthrough gift, which will help change the future of #mentalhealth in Canada. We're humbled by this phenomenal act of generosity, courage, trust, foresight and leadership. 💯😊👏🤩
— CAMH (@CAMHnews) January 11, 2018
Dr. Catherine Zahn, president of the CAMH, described the donation as “an injection of wild, wild hope” to Toronto’s Metro News and said that the millions will be spent on “leading-edge ideas that are going to be focused on understanding disease mechanisms, effective diagnosis and treatment.”
Mental disorders are among the most common causes of disability. In the United States alone, 43.6 million people suffer from mental illness. In Canada, that number is 6.7 million. For those Canadians, the donation represents exciting possibilities for hope and recovery in the future.
The CAMH is one of the leading addiction and mental health organizations in North America. Each year, it helps more than 30,000 people and responds to more than 500,000 outpatient visits. It is also the largest mental health and addiction research facility in Canada, and its groundbreaking findings help people in Canada and beyond to enjoy longer, healthier lives.
“We are eternally grateful to this donor, for investing $100 million in our capacity to generate world-leading clinical discovery, and to invest in some of the high-risk, high-reward research that usually doesn’t get top funding priority,” Darrell Louise Gregersen, president and CEO of the CAMH Foundation, told the Toronto Star.
This isn’t the first time that a philanthropist has donated a shocking amount of money to a worthwhile organization. Last year, Bill Gates donated $100 million to advancing research into Alzheimer’s disease and Jack and Laura Dangermond donated an unprecedented $165 million to The Nature Conservancy. Meanwhile, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $1.9 billion to the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, and these funds will be used to improve everything from American education to the state of the criminal-justice system.
Anonymous donations like this one are also nothing new. In 2010, an anonymous donor gave $200 million to Baylor University. Scientists have explained the phenomenon by finding that large anonymous donations tend to be increase the size of public donations made to the same organization afterward. So maybe this gift to the CAMH will be just the tip of the iceberg.
That’s so inspiring! With great power and wealth comes great responsibility, and these extremely generous acts are proving that some of the world’s richest people are taking this responsibility very seriously.