The Story Behind Peter Nygard’s Generous And Endless Giving

There are a number of really caring individuals in the world who give so much of themselves and/or share their wealth in generous ways. You can’t help but wonder what makes some people so giving and others, not so much.

Peter Nygard is known to be one of those individuals who is really kindhearted and giving. What makes Peter Nygard share so much of his wealth with others and where did it all begin?  The story is told that the Nygard family emigrated from Finland to Canada with very little. They had a rough start. Peter Nygard’s family’s first home was a former coal storage bin that was thirteen by fifteen feet. There was a coal stove in the center of the back wall that was used for cooking and staying warm. Next to it was a rusty barrel full of melting snow, most of the time, that was boiled and used for washing and bathing in a galvanized tub. And they had to use an outdoor toilet.

While there is no doubt that our lives are shaped by our experiences as kids, the same experiences of different individuals tend to impact each individual’s life differently. Peter Nygard’s experiences impacted him in a particular way. Clearly, Peter Nygard was poor during his childhood. However, the family managed to make great strides through hard work and determination, and Peter Nygard was able to rise above his initial circumstances.

When asked once about his tendency to give so much Peter Nygard told the following story: “As a boy, I had a friend whose parents owned a restaurant. One day I went with him to the restaurant. There were so many delicious smells. My friend put two slices of bread in the toaster.  I was so hungry; I just knew one of those slices was for me. When they were done, my friend buttered the first piece of toast and began eating it. I stood there trying to be patient, but my mouth was watering waiting for my toast. Then, he took the second slice out of the toaster. He buttered it. He took a bite, and then ate the whole thing. I was so disappointed. I never forgot that moment. I told myself, ‘Peter, if you ever have an opportunity to share your second piece of toast, you share your second piece of toast!’”

Over and over again, Peter Nygard has lived up to that commitment he made to himself all those many years ago. It is demonstrated in the many different causes he has given to over the years, like to athletes, medical funds and treatments, cancer research and eradication, community development, educational scholarships, etc. Cancer research and eradication alone has received more than twenty million dollars from Peter Nygard.

Many are really grateful to Peter Nygard for always being willing to share his toast.