On a stormy day one November, David caught the train from Toronto to Windsor. He was off to visit family near his hometown of Essex. He rarely took the train, but he felt good about his decision as the snow began to fall.

As he settled in for the trip, David struck up a conversation with the stranger next to him. Her name was Lina. They chatted about his extensive travels, her work in the financial world and her involvement with a small charity called Heart-Links. David says, “What captured my interest was her heart-felt belief in the need to assist the people in Peru and to help them achieve more financial independence. This was not a sales pitch for a donation but a deep-felt desire to give the people in this sector of Peru the means to have a better life.”

David and his wife Sharon

The conversation left David with a desire to learn more and to support the cause in a small way. Since this chance meeting many years ago, he and his wife, Sharon, have donated regularly to Heart-Links. David says, “If someone asks me how this involvement with Heart-Links started, I say because of a lady on the train.”

While David and Sharon have no direct connection to Peru, David has been there a couple of times on work-related travel that has taken him to over 60 countries around the world. Their desire to help others started many years ago when they realized how many people in the world are suffering from lack of adequate food, clothing and water. In our interview, David told us, “My wife and I donate to a number of charities because we want to help people find ways to sustain a reasonable level of life.”

Since Lina Bowden—the lady on the train—is a long-time Heart-Links supporter, we reached out to share David’s story with her and get her side. What did she say?

“This story reminds me just how valuable our human connection is. I feel blessed to have struck such an important human connection with David that day—and I am just as blessed to know the great leaders of the programs in Peru that Heart-Links supports. Our humanity is alive and rich when we seek to connect at a deeper level with each other. Thanks, David, for caring enough to engage in dialogue with me that day and for acting on something that spoke to your heart.”

We thank you, too, David, for supporting Heart-Links and for sharing your story with us. And, thank you, Lina, for inspiring David that day on the train.

Have you considered becoming a donor to Heart-Links like David? You can read more about our giving options right here or email info@heart-links.org for more information. Ready to make your donation? Go to our online giving page to give now.

We are proud to list the names of many of our donors on our webpage dedicated to Our Supporters—both to say THANK YOU and to recognize their ongoing commitment. If you wish to remain anonymous, that’s okay, too. We will honour your wish.

This post is part of Heart-Links’ new series Spotlight on Our Supporters, which introduces readers to some of the amazing people who donate to Heart-Links—and why.