It seems that sometimes, the most generous among us are those who have so little to give. And one simple act of selflessness can be all it takes to set into action a chain of events that changes an entire person’s life.
The story begins with Dominique Harrison-Bentzen unable to cover a the cost of getting home and ends with her smashing the target number of £12,500 she hoped to raise for a homeless man identified only as “Robbie.”
Dominique Harrison-Bentzen, a University of Central Lancashire student, realized that she’d lost her bank card on December 4. Without the ability to afford a way home, it appeared as if Dominique would be stranded — until she was approached by a homeless man known only as “Robbie,” who did a remarkably kind and selfless thing: he offered her all the money he had on him at the time, £3, so she could afford a taxi to get home.
“I suddenly realised that I had no money and a homeless man approached me with his only change of £3,” she said. “He insisted I took it to pay for a taxi to make sure I got home safe.”
And while she ultimately didn’t take the money — she found another way home — the act of kindness touched her. She set herself on a mission, dedicating herself to he cause of helping him. Incredibly, she learned that she isn’t the only person that Robbie has tried to help, either: “I ended up posting a status on Facebook to try and find him the next day and it turns out I’m not the only person he has helped.”
In fact, Robbie has helped many people in the Preston city center, with acts of kindness such as returning wallets to pedestrians and offering his scarf to keep people warm. Despite being homeless for seven months, with no job, he still mustered the basic humanity to offer up his last £3 to help Dominique.
In return for his magnanimous act, Dominique will spend 24 hours with Robbie to help raise enough money to get him back on his feet:
And I simply can’t just give him the money, I have to go through the right channels so I will be spending 24 hours through the day and night as a homeless person to understand the difficulties they face each day.
If people can sponsor me £3 – as Robbie attempted to give me his only £3 – in the hope of collecting enough to get Robbie a flat deposit so that he can be safe and warm.
And she announced on December 15 that they smashed the goal:
She added that:
Everyone has been so supportive and I’d love to get as many people as possible out with me on Tuesday to show Robbie our support – be it for the full 24 hours or just one.
I hope my campaign will help people think a little more about the people around them, Christmas is a good time to think about other people.
If people can see what I am doing then maybe they can take the time to just stop and talk to a homeless person, hear their story.