Sunday, February 1, 2015

A homeless heart of gold

One night last December, 22-year-old Dominique Harrison-Bentzen came out of a nightclub in Preston, England, and discovered she didn't have money for a taxi home. She also didn't have her bank card, and her cell phone battery was dead. She was stuck, until a homeless man known as Robbie approached to ask if she needed help. He offered her all the money he had in the world, $4.60, so she'd get home safely.

Dominique Harrison-Bentzen

Dominique, a student at the University of Central Lancashire, declined his offer and found another way home, but she couldn't forget Robbie. For the next four nights, she and her Mom drove the streets of Preston looking for him. As she inquired, she learned from other homeless folks that he was well-known for helping strangers. He returned lost wallets untouched, and even offered one lady his scarf on a cold night. Eventually she found him, and was able to thank him in person for his kindness. Then she decided to launch a fund-raiser to help him get an apartment. She spent a night on the streets, and asked friends to "sponsor" her for $4.60, the amount Robbie offered to help her. She dreamed of raising $780, but her story went viral. Within a week, she'd raised almost $50,000.00. "The fund-raising site keeps crashing," she said, "because everyone wants to get on it."

Some of the money will provide Robbie with a home, but he suggested the rest be used to help other homeless people in the Preston area and she agreed.

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