Day 635: Giving large

Allen and Violet Large (that's their name, not even kidding).

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while! After two-plus years, I’ve been thinking it might be time to take GDAD in a new direction … and along with regaling you with tales of my own attempts at random acts of kindness, I’d like to share stories of other good-deeders out there (and there are a lot of you, that’s for sure). And I’d also like to hear more of your stories — deeds you’ve tried or ones that have been done for you —  so please send them in!

This Nova Scotia couple’s good deed, for example, might just be the biggest one I have ever seen.

They donated their entire $11.2 million lottery win to charity.

Their story warmed my heart as I hope it does yours. Enjoy!

Canadian Couple Gives Away Lottery Jackpot
excerpted from

But Allen and Violet Large of Lower Truro didn’t spend any of it on themselves.

They say they decided to take care of family, organizations and institutions instead.

“What you’ve never had, you never miss,” said Violet, 78.

Married since 1974, the couple does not live large. They don’t travel, they don’t gamble (beyond playing the lottery) and they don’t buy what they don’t need.

“We have an old house, but we’re comfortable and we’re happy in it,” Violet said.

They spent 30 years in Ontario where Allen was a steel welder and Violet worked for cosmetics and chocolate companies. They retired in 1983 and returned to Nova Scotia.

“We were pretty well set, not millionaires, but comfortable,” said Allen, 75.

So when they hit it big in Lotto 6-49’s July 14 draw, they decided to give it all away.

All that money “was a big headache,” Allen said.

Violet said she was concerned about “crooked people” who might try to take advantage of them.

But the big win came at a difficult time in their lives: Violet was undergoing treatment for cancer that doctors discovered in the spring.

“That money that we won was nothing,” said Allen, choking back tears. “We have each other.”

Violet has been through surgery and finished her last chemotherapy treatment a week ago.

After the win, the couple took about a week to work out the details before embarking on their $11,255,272 spending spree.

They took care of family first and then began delivering donations to the two pages’ worth of groups they had decided on, including the local fire department, churches, cemeteries, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, hospitals in Truro and Halifax, where Violet underwent her cancer treatment, and organizations that fight cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

They’ve received plenty of phone calls, letters and plaques of gratitude. And while they’re thankful for each one, they didn’t do it for the recognition.

“It made us feel good,” said Violet. “And there’s so much good being done with that money.”

She and her husband said they feel privileged to be able to give back to the community, to help the firefighters, the doctors and nurses and the volunteers who have helped them.

“We’re the lucky ones,” Violet said. “I have no complaints.”

P.S. I’ve always dreamed about what I would do if I won the lottery, and donating to charity is definitely one of the things I would do … but the whole thing? Wow. What do you guys think? Can you imagine being that generous?


One thought on “Day 635: Giving large

  1. I loved hearing about these two. The news in generally has really been getting me down lately. This story made me happy. And good Maritimers aren’t much into flashy wealth – a fine tradition!

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