Philanthropist says $500,000 was best way to help in Covid-19 crisis
The Royal Gazette published a lovely story on 17th June 2021, about a Canadian businessman, Sean McNulty, who moved to Bermuda as a "digital nomad" and who has very kindly donated half a million dollars to support island businesses and frontline workers in the fight against Covid.
But what does this have to do with our ExPo website?!
If you read the article you will see that Sean makes mention of his father, a former police officer originally from the UK, who spent eight years on the island before he moved to Canada. This has to be our good friend and former colleague, Peter McNulty, who served here from 1972-1978 and worked for a while in Eastern CID. I believe Peter married a Canadian while here, and he emigrated to Canada in 1978.
The Royal Gazette reports -
Sean McNulty, 35, who has been living on the island for seven months, added that support for frontline workers and the economy was the best way he could think of to help Bermuda recover from the pandemic.
Mr McNulty said: "I think that the first responders and frontline workers are a community of people who keep the wheels of society moving.
“Doing things that help those groups – or even things that put a spotlight or a little extra praise on the value of what they already do – is a good thing.”
Mr McNulty said: “I got a lot of good feedback from some Bermudians who were happy that someone was coming from another country and giving back instead of taking.
“I had a few people say ‘you’re not even Bermudian, why are you doing this?’ but they were just so happy either way.”
He added: “It doesn’t matter where you’re from – I think you can make a difference in the community you live in.
“Even if I’m not from here, I live here now and I felt I could make a positive impact. So I did.”
Mr McNulty, who lives in Southampton, donated $500,000 to the Frontline Foundation, an organisation he launched last month to support essential workers and businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The funds went towards several schemes, including a 12 day long giveaway that offered $50 gift cards to people who got vaccinated and matched each card with another gift card to an essential worker.
Mr McNulty is the chief executive officer and portfolio manager of Toronto-based asset management firm XIB Financial.
He admitted that the $500,000 donation was “a bit of a shock” to some of his family – particularly because he and his wife, a pharmacist, came from working-class backgrounds – but he added he could afford it.
Mr McNulty said: "I didn’t want to go raise a bunch of money from people that I didn’t know, particularly during what is a more difficult time for many.
“I am fortunate enough to have done well financially, so I said ‘okay, I’ll fund it myself in a way that also supports the people and businesses that are hurting’.”
Mr McNulty, who also made several donations while in Canada and still sits on the board of a children’s hospital foundation, added: “I prefer not to put donations into the black hole or broad-based general budget of an organisation.
“I prefer to see and feel the impact of what I’m doing and for the contributions to have a ripple effect that makes a bigger difference.”
Mr McNulty admitted that, although there was some criticism because the campaign rewarded people who got vaccinated, essential workers and island businesses were universally supported.
He said: “The recipients who are a part of the frontline community represent all of Bermuda, vaccinated or not.
“What we were doing by giving them the gift cards had nothing to do with the vaccine programme – it’s saying ‘thank you’ for what they’re doing for the community.”
CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article including Sean's comments about his father having lived here in Bermuda for 8 years.