A Scottish man who benefited from the Salvation Army's services to the elderly left the ministry with an unexpected $1.27 million in his will.
The Salvation Army in Angus, an eastern county in Scotland, revealed this past weekend that Robert Saddler, a retired architect, had given the second largest donation ever to the branch's community care service. The largest gift, $1.5 million, was given 13 years ago and used to set up the service.
Saddler, who reportedly has no immediate living family, had received help from the Salvation Army Angus since he was in his 80s. Ministry workers had shopped and collected medicines for him until his death at the age of 95. The particular Salvation Army service that Saddler used helps elderly people maintain an independent life.
Though Saddler died in 2008, the Salvation Army decided not to announce the gift until it knew exactly how much it had received. The branch received the donation Friday.
Major Jim McCluskey, head of the Salvation Army Angus community care service, calls the donation a "lifeline legacy."
"The reality is we were down to our last penny and on the same day we were going to discuss what to do about the situation we were informed about this legacy," McCluskey said, according to BBC.
He added, "It would have been very, very difficult to go on without it."
"I think it is also testament to the good work that we have been doing, as Robert obviously wanted it to continue through this donation," said McCluskey, according to Scotland-based The Press and Journal. "We are extremely grateful to Robert, like all our service users – we valued him as a person, he was not just a name on a list of visits, but someone we cared for."