Mr. Volpe, who was attending a leadership fundraiser at an East Side Mario's restaurant in Edmonton last night, said the donations are legal, but he gave the money back because he "wanted to set a different standard."
He said he didn't know about the donation until recently and since the story broke in The Globe he has spoken to the Shechtman children and their mother, Mary.
"Apparently, I had seen the kids when I went to their school and gave a talk during the [federal election] campaign. They went back home and said 'that's a guy we want to help, we want to support.' The parents told them there would be a good time to do that and here is the time. So, I gather they thought about it as a family and they did what they did," he said.
"You might say that's a lot of money for kids. It's not a family that's unaccustomed to having those resources.
"[Now] they feel sorry for me, because someone has made something negative about their interest in being engaged."