Clasina van Bemmel left her abusive family in the Netherlands at age 16 to become a nanny in England. Later, she founded the Vancouver Trolley Company by selling her car for a down payment on an 11-seater tour van. Despite having no formal business training and only a grade 7 education, she built a thriving company. After selling it, retiring, and writing a memoir, she found herself wanting to pass on her good fortune to those who needed help fighting for a new start. Selling a plot of land in Squamish, she created the Compassion in Action Fund which, since 2016, has given thousands of dollars to groups that support a better future for women, children, or animals fleeing violence. Groups she has supported include the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, the Victoria Women's Transition House Society, and the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation. And van Bemmel, now 77, has arranged for this annual cycle of giving to outlive her.

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