The season of giving is alive and well in Preston, England, where an art student has raised more than £21,000 (roughly $32,821 U.S. dollars) for a local homeless man. The incredibly generous gesture came after Dominique Harrison-Bentzen was given taxi money from the man, who she says offered her his last £3 so she could get home safely.
The 22-year-old says she declined the offer, but was so moved by his gesture that she started a campaign to raise enough money to help him get a flat. She set up a donation page and asked people to each donate £3 for her fundraiser, which involved spending the night on the street, along with supporters who had heard about her story through social media.
“I suddenly realized that I had no money and a homeless man approached me with his only change of £3,” Harrison-Bentzen says. “He insisted I took it to pay for a taxi to make sure I got home safe.”
The young art student also says that she set out to find the man after their initial meeting in order to reach out and thank him for his generosity. She says, “The more I spoke about him the more kind gestures I learned about him, such as him returning wallets untouched to pedestrians and offering his scarf to keep people warm,” of the stories she started hearing during her mission to find the man again.
Luckily, Harrison-Bentzen’s campaign to help the homeless man, whose name is Robbie, quickly went viral, with thousands of donated dollars pouring in from around the world. The money raised will go towards finding permanent housing for Robbie, as well as towards helping other homeless people in the city.
“With Robbie’s blessing, we want to help as many people as we can,” says Harrison-Bentzen. “Robbie has already suggested some local charities within Preston who have helped not only him but others throughout their hardship.”
Image: via Facebook.