Thursday, February 26, 2015

He didn't expect that sort of response

Alan Barnes, 67, who is only 4'6" tall, visually impaired and has lived with disabilities from birth, was afraid to return to his home in Gateshead, England, after he was attacked in January. He was assaulted as he put his trash cans out one Sunday evening. "I was moving my wheelie bin around from the back of the house when a shadow came on my left hand side," he remembered. "It was a lad who said, 'Hand over your money.'" When Barnes had no money, the cowardly lad shoved him to the ground, fracturing his collar bone, and ran away.

Alan Barnes and Katie Cutler

Enter Katie Cutler. After reading about the disgraceful attack on such a frail victim, Cutler, who is a beautician, launched a "Help Alan Barnes" online donation page on the Go Fund Me Web site. "I was so upset that anyone could target a disabled pensioner and be so cruel," she said. Her aim was to raise $800, but the site soon attracted 2,000 donations totaling $431,000. There have also been offers of free help from plumbers, electricians, bathroom fitters and carpet layers, plus offers of furniture. Barnes' family says the funds will be placed in a trust for his permanent benefit.

"I can't wait for him to get it," Cutler said. "I'm over the moon.""I've heard of fundraising for charities," said Barnes, "but I've only got a fractured collarbone. I didn't expect that sort of response."

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