25% of van attack victims turned down donated money, said it should go to those more in need
As Toronto approaches the first anniversary of the deadly North York van attack on Tuesday, more stories of perseverance and kindness are coming out of the tragedy.
The administrator of the #TorontoStrong Fund, Barbara Hall, told Global News on Monday that nearly 25 per cent of funding recipients have actually donated the money back to others.
The fund, which was created in the aftermath of the attack to cover costs incurred by victims of the tragedy, raised about $3.5 million.
Each of the 26 families affected by the tragedy were given $10,000 to help pay for initial expenses, while some money was donated to funeral expenses and the rest was to support the injured.
“The money was allocated based on the physical life-changing aspect of the injuries,” Hall said.
But Hall said as she spoke to the victims and their families, many of them began asking if they could give the money to someone who needed the money more.
Many of the victims, Hall said, specifically asked about the seven-year-old son of Renuka Amarasingha, a single mother who was killed in the attack.
“Almost all the people questioned those most seriously injured and a little boy whose mother who died,” Hall said.
The victims were then told that they could donate the money they received back into the #TorontoStrong fund and nearly a quarter of them did.
These victims — many of whom had life-altering injuries — and families who had just lost loved ones were giving back even in a time of great hardship, Hall said.
“Here were people who had been injured and would for the rest of their lives experience this in a way, showing … solidarity and love for others who had been seriously impacted,” Hall said.
On Tuesday, Toronto will mark one year since the attack that killed 10 people and injured 16 others.
Numerous events are planned around the city, including at Mel Lastman Square where people are expected to gather throughout the day to pay their respects to the attack victims and first responders.
WATCH: Toronto van attack, one month later (May, 2018)
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.