Over the course of the U.S. presidential campaign, we learned that Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, belligerent, bullheaded bigmouth. But is there a different side of President-elect Trump that we don’t know about? Actually, there are a few stories of Trump’s generosity that did not receive much attention during the presidential campaign.
A farmer from Georgia
In 1986, a Georgia farmer named Lenard Hill owed the bank $300,000 and was about to lose his farm. He desperately wanted to keep his family farm of three generations, so he purchased a large life insurance policy so that his family could claim the proceeds in the event of his death.
Just before the farm’s scheduled sale, he committed suicide in an attempt to stop the foreclosure. However, he never knew that his insurance policy had an exemption for suicides and the sale was re-scheduled following his tragic death.
Mr. Hill’s desperate act soon became national news. When Trump heard about it, he called Mr. Hill’s widow to offer help. He pressured the bank to give the family a month to gather the remaining funds, and then helped pay a portion of the debt so that Mrs. Hill could keep her late husband’s farm.
Thirty years later, when Trump was at a campaign event in South Carolina, a 50-year-old woman told the gathered crowd about her father’s suicide in the face of a bank foreclosure and how Donald Trump helped her widowed mother:
“What I want you all to know is how kindhearted and caring he is. He cares about America. He cares about farmers, He cares about veterans. He truly wants to make America great again, and I think if we help him, we can get there.”
Rescuing a beauty queen
In 2006, Miss Kentucky, Tara Conner, won the Miss USA title. Shortly after being crowned, her unbecoming behavior began to make headlines. The media ran reports of her underage drinking and drug abuse, as well as scandalous photos.
When Trump, co-owner of the Miss USA organization, called a press conference, everyone expected him to strip Conner of her title. Instead, he offered her a second chance and Connor agreed to go to rehab.
Trump’s decision changed Conner’s life. After her successful detoxification, she became an advocate for those whose lives have been impacted by addiction.
A plane ride
In 1988, Rabbi Harold Ten’s 3-year-old son Andrew was diagnosed with a rare disease and needed special accommodations for a cross county flight. All commercial airlines refused to take the little boy from Los Angeles to New York City for medical treatment as he required several large pieces of medical equipment.
In desperation, Rabbi Ten called Trump, who agreed to provide his private airplane for the cross-country flight. Andrew’s father said:
“Mr. Trump did not hesitate when we called him up. He said: ‘Yes, I’ll send my plane out.’” Afterwards, Trump told a reporter: “Rescuing a little boy is the right thing to do, so I did it.”
Praising a driver’s good deed
A Buffalo, New York bus driver was driving along his regular route in 2003 when he spotted a woman standing on the edge of an overpass, looking down at an expressway. Fearing that she wanted to take her own life, he stopped his bus and helped her back over the guardrail. When Trump heard the news accounts of the good deed, he praised the driver and gave him $10,000 as a reward. Trump said:
“I love doing it when I see something wonderful like that.”
Helping the victims of hurricane Sandy
In 2012, hurricane Sandy battered much of the eastern United States. Trump’s home of New York City was especially hard hit. He opened the atrium of Trump Tower to hundreds of people forced to evacuate their homes, serving up free coffee and food throughout the day. Trump said:
“We invited the public in and we took care of the people and I’m very happy about that.”
A skating rink for Central Park
The Wollman Rink in Central Park fell into utter disrepair during the New York City fiscal crisis. The city embarked on a total refurbishment of the facility in 1980, but after six years and $13 million, they announced that they would have to start all over again and it would another two years to complete. The rink became an emblem of civic dysfunction.
Trump, who could see from his office window the messy construction site that the Wollman Rink had been for years, saw an opportunity. He asked Mayor Koch if he could complete the work but was turned down by him. Eventually, as public pressure mounted, Koch turned the project over to Trump and in just three months, the refurbishment was completed for $2.25 million dollars, half of the estimated cost.
Translation by Yi Ming