All in a good cause

Russell Macmillan
Russell Macmillan

THE man behind fundraising charity East Renfrewshire Good Causes is celebrating three and a half years of work in the community – and reaching a milestone total of over £75,000.

Newton Mearns resident Russell Macmillan (46) founded ER Good Causes in 2007 after a life-saving pancreas and kidney transplant.

With the help of three friends and his wife Yvonne, the philanthropist – registered blind himself – has helped 398 people in the East Ren community.

Russell told The Extra: “I’m so passionate about ER Good Causes. I love seeing the difference it makes”.

So far this year, projects have included providing furniture for a single mother after a separation from her husband, and replacing parts on a wheelchair for a young person with a severe spinal injury.

For Russell, every good deed is memorable – but there’s one from the first half of 2011 that’s particularly touching.

He explained: “I was over the moon when we managed to part-fund decking in the back garden of a young girl with physical disabilities.

“She’s six years old and has to walk in splints, but her garden was uneven so she wasn’t able to get outside when it was a nice day.

“Now, she’s no longer housebound – and it’s one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen”.

East Ren Good Causes has now raised £76,582 through donations – three quarters of the initial target of £100,000 – and Russell wishes to thank everyone involved.

He commented: “Barclays Wealth donated £5,000 recently, which was fantastic.

“And The Extra have been with us since day one, which only encourages more businesses to donate to the people of East Renfrewshire”.

Now, he’s setting his sights on a cause close to home – organ donation.

Russell enthused: “I hope my volunteer work has gone some way to honour and thank the organ donor and family for my second lease of life.

“It’s not Russell Macmillan going out and helping people, it’s the organs I was the lucky recipient of. Without those, none of these good causes would have happened.

“I’m hoping that when people are faced with the question, they remember what I’ve done – and that it’s a brilliant testament to someone’s memory if their organs are able to live on”.

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