When 22-year-old Dominique Harrison-Bentzen found herself without a bank card or money in the early hours of the morning, a homeless man approached her with his only £3 to pay for her cab ride home from Preston town center. Now she wants to pay him back, many times over.
Harrison-Bentzen, a university student, didn't take the money from the man on the street, but wrote on the Facebook page that she was "touched by such a kind gesture from a man who faces ignorance every day."
"So I set on a mission to find this man – the more I spoke about him the more kind gestures I learnt about such as him returning wallets untouched to pedestrians and offering his scarf to keep people warm," she said.
She said she found "Robbie" and learned he's been homeless for seven months and "needs to get back on his feet, but cannot get work due to having no address."
"So that's when I decided to change Robbie's life and help him, as he has helped many others," she said.
But Harrison-Bentzen, a Miss Preston pageant finalist, is taking the gesture a step further – to the streets, where she will spend all day and night Tuesday.
"I simply can’t just give him the money, I have to go through the right channels," she told Metro. "So I will be spending 24 hours through the day and night as a homeless person to understand the difficulties they face each day."
She said she aims to raise enough for Robbie to rent a flat.
"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," she said.
Her efforts have garnered significant attention – Ian Brown from the Stone Roses tweeted about the fundraiser.
"Together our small act of kindness can change someone's life this Christmas and finally get him off the streets safe and warm," Harrison-Bentzen said.