In support of a country that supports us all

In support of a country that supports us all

April 04, 2020

The Nanji Family provides matching funds in the fight against COVID-19

It takes only a quick google search to begin to realize the impact of the Nanji family in this country. Yet, at the same time, the more one reads, the more one understands they can never truly know this incredible family. Their experiences, their successes, their sacrifices – and their sheer unbelievable determination to give back.

The story of Gulshan and Pyarali Nanji’s arrival in Canada begins in 1972 in Uganda, then under the rule of dictator, Idi Amin. The couple and their four children were among 60,000 South Asian families forced to flee persecution under the regime, and like many, found refuge in Canada.

An article in Canadian Immigrant magazine quotes Mr. Nanji as saying, “The way we left the country [Uganda] was under very difficult circumstances, during Idi Amin’s regime. We were fortunate to be alive. Canada took care of my kids who came first, followed by my wife. The government supported us.”

The Nanjis pledged to one another that if they became financially able, they would give back to the country that had provided them with a safe refuge. It’s very clear that Mr. and Mrs. Nanji – and now their children as well – have made good on that promise. And continue to do so.

Since becoming successful in the warehousing industry and ultimately establishing Belle-Pak Packaging Inc. (recognized as one of Canada’s 50 best managed companies), the Nanjis have donated millions of dollars to charitable endeavours – particularly in Ontario, where Mr. and Ms. Nanji currently reside.

One of their children, Tazmin, now lives in the Vancouver area, and it is through her that the Nanji family’s generosity has reached Burnaby Hospital.

It’s no surprise the Nanjis are working to support hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to Burnaby Hospital Foundation’s recently established COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, incredibly the family is matching community donations – dollar for dollar – up to $100,000.

The funds are being used to address the emergency needs of the hospital during the crisis, including the growing list of urgently needed items being requested by frontline staff. Any funds left over once the pandemic subsides will continue to be invested into emergency care and equipment to ensure the hospital is even better prepared for a second wave or for the next time something like COVID-19 occurs.

“I’ve been saying this a lot recently, but I never get tired if it – the community response we have seen has been overwhelming and amazing,” says foundation CEO, Kristy James. “I’m so grateful for everyone who is stepping up in support of our frontline heroes during these uncertain times. And of course, to the Nanji family, it’s hard to find the right words to express what this gift means to us … I will start simply by saying THANK YOU!

If you want to show you care about the people fighting COVID-19, make a donation that will be matched by the Gulshan and Pyarali G. Nanji Family Foundation.