Generosity Transcending Borders: Meet Gurpreet Singh Reen

One thing India does not have in common with Cape Breton is harsh, snow-filled winters. However, as seen throughout hurricane Fiona and other times of need in the community, something that certainly transcends borders is generosity and kindness.

Gurpreet Singh Reen, a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Supply Chain Management student at Cape Breton University moved to Sydney from India in 2021. He quickly learned to love the area and its people and noticed many similarities to his home country, including the generosity and kindness found within the community.

During a snowstorm in late January, Gurpreet shared a post on Facebook stating, “Any elderly, specially-abled or other people in Sydney who are not able to shovel their entrance or driveway, hit me up! I’ll do it for free!”

The response to that post is something Gurpreet could never have imagined. Within hours the post garnered more than 630 likes and 105 comments praising his generosity, kindness and selflessness in offering to help others who may not be able to move the heavy snow.

“I was brought up that way to help. I had free time and just wanted to help, it was not about money,” says Gurpreet. “It just so happens that at this time I was going through a difficult time in my life, and all of these positive comments and outpouring from the community were like a blessing from God to help me through.”

Gurpreet said he is still getting notifications from the post and that his offer to help still stands! “The support for me from the community and my coworkers has been truly amazing,” says Gurpreet. “My favourite comment was from someone who asked if I was sure I was not someone from Cape Breton in the 1960’s. It was morally and culturally right on track. I see a lot of similarities between Cape Breton and my home country.”

This summer, Gurpreet will graduate from CBU. He wants to stay in Cape Breton and build his life and career on the Island. “Cape Breton Island is my home away from home,” he says. “As long as I am here, I will do all I can to help. I received so many blessings from those comments and they are what got me back on track. I want to be part of this community, one that welcomed me, for a very long time.”