David Dunn looks back at his 97 years and recollects a tough life, but one that shaped him into the person he is today. “I am always happy—never angry—because it’s not worthwhile.”

David was born in Berlin and spent most of his childhood in a children’s home. In 1938, he was selected to join the Kindertransport program that sent hundreds of young Jewish children to England before the start of World War II. He was one of just five kids selected – and had to leave his brother Harry behind.

It wasn’t until years later that David got an update on his brother. “I heard nothing about my family until I was stationed in Berlin after the war.” David learned that shortly after he went to England, his brother Harry was transported to a concentration camp, and died on his way there.

At the age of 12, David was sent to Scotland to evacuate the bombing and help a farmer. He says his first years were “uneasy,” learning English and new customs. He had several different jobs before joining the Royal Army at 18—this is when he had to change his name to a British name to join the commando unit, a top-secret unit created by Winston Churchill to interrogate enemies on the battlefield. David left the army in 1948 and remained a reserve soldier before coming to Canada in 1955. He arrived with just $100 in his pocket and got a job repairing ledger posting machines.

“I had a variety of jobs in Canada and owned several small business ventures—the lack of funds when I was a kid instilled a sense of thrift and fear of credit,” he says. “I still pay cash for everything.”

David’s business ventures were successful—everything from a printing business to selling hair pieces for men and owning an automobile rustproofing equipment supply company. “I retired from the business world when I was 85.”

Now he is giving back in honour and memory of his life partner Gitta and his brother Harry. David has chosen to donate $50,000 to Scarborough Health Network and 19 other charities through his donor advised fund.  “I started with little means, but now it’s time to donate to organizations that do good for others.  Scarborough Health Network is one of them—I lived in Scarborough at one time and always had a friendly feeling for the General Hospital.”

David’s advice for others is simple. “Be positive and give back if you can. It makes you happy.”

To learn more about including legacy giving, visit SHNFoundation.ca/Legacy or contact Verna Chen at vchen@shn.ca