Most people expect to be given gifts on their birthdays, but this year, White Rock, B.C. businessman Manjit Lit decided to give.
“I can see it did make a lot of difference,” he told Global News, just days after making a $400,000 donation to four charities on his 73rd birthday.
“It’s not big money, but still, to them every penny helps.”
Lit is the owner of the property development company Litco Investments Corporation, which currently has half a dozen sites under construction.
This week, he wrote cheques to the Guru Nanak Diversity Village and the Surrey, Peace Arch and BC Children’s hospital foundations.
“I was looking in the news every day that there’s a lot of patients with COVID coming to the hospital, and a lack of funds to buy equipment,” he explained.
At a luncheon for the cheque presentations in Surrey on Oct. 12, he was surprised to learn participants knew it was his birthday.
“People were coming up and shaking hands, saying, ‘Happy birthday, happy birthday!'” he said.
“So I asked them, I said ‘How do you know that?’ They said, ‘It’s on the Facebook!'”
He hadn’t planned to tell anyone it was his birthday, but wound up with a cake anyway.
Lit has supported many charities over the years, including the B.C. Cancer Foundation, Global Village Foundation and KidsPlay Foundation.
He moved from India to the United Kingdom at 19 years old, and 43 years later, recognized the real estate potential in B.C.
Ever since then, he said, he’s been giving back to his B.C. community.
Last year, Lit helped raise funds to purchase a special cleaning robot for the Peace Arch Hospital.
“This year, for Peace Arch, this money is going to be used for mental health,” he said.
This year’s lump sum of $400,000 is the largest donation he’s ever made, but he plans to make many more donations, he added, including to organizations like St. Paul’s Hospital.
Asked what he has in the works for his 74th birthday, he said, “Put it this way, we will plan something.”