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Homeless Man's Kind Gesture Inspired Viral Campaign That's Getting People Off The Streets

02/23/2015 05:08 pm ET | Updated Feb 27, 2015
Facebook/BBC North West Tonight

A woman from the U.K., who rallied the Internet to raise money for a homeless man, has made a large donation to a local group committed to helping those in need.

University student Dominique Harrison-Bentzen donated 42,000 British pounds, (about $64,900), to the Foxton Center earlier this month, the sum from a successful fundraiser that she began in December. The Foxton Center, which works with marginalized individuals and groups, said in a statement that it will use the money to help "long-term homeless get off the streets and become established in suitable accommodation."

Harrison-Bentzen first made headlines in December, after she lost her bank card, and encountered a homeless man, known as "Robbie," who offered to give her his change so she could get home safely. While the University of Central Lancashire student declined Robbie's offer and found another way home, she was so moved by his selfless gesture that she set up a fundraising page on his behalf.

A portion of the donation will be used to help Robbie, according to Foxton Center's statement. Harrison-Bentzen told BBC News that Robbie asked that any additional money go toward helping others, and she selected the Foxton Center because it's "local, credible and well-established."

The student told the Lancashire Evening Post that she was grateful for the support from online donors, saying, "a fantastic outcome has been achieved for the local homeless community."

The Foxton Center said it will determine what help individual homeless people need on a "case by case basis."

"We want to see what it will take to get each individual off the streets -- it may be money for the first week's rent or furniture," Tim Keightley, executive director of the organization, told BBC News.

The organization said it plans to release updates in the coming months, explaining further how the money is being used, but told donors that the homeless individuals are "vulnerable" and their privacy and confidentiality has to be respected.

To learn more about the Foxton Center's work or to make a donation, click here.

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