An East Ren charity founded by a double transplant recipient nine years ago has gone from strength to strength.
Russell MacMillan (51), founded East Ren Good Causes as his own unique way of saying thanks to the donor who provided him with his new organs.
Now registered blind, but otherwise in the best of health, Russell, a Christian, believes he has a duty to make the most of his time and to repay back into society, in his own small way.
Talking about ‘small’ ways - the charity has now passed the 1500 person target as of this month, when it had helped 1541 people in East Renfrewshire.
As a result of various fund raising projects and support from many local businesses and organisations, not forgetting the national projects Russell has being organising with the likes of the Co-op, he has given out the equivalent value of nearly £277,000!
A remarkable sum when considering most donations are less than £1,000, some substantially less, but which are all treated with the same appreciation by Russell.
Russell told The Extra: “ This paper printed a statement by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which sums up my ethos perfectly - ‘The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well’ - I couldn’t have put it any better!
“The charity has given out a substantial sum of money in either goods or services and helped people who might otherwise have fallen through the cracks. And, it’s all thanks to a stranger who provided the organs living on inside me.
“When you put it like that, it’s an incredible honour to help neighbours in need.The people who work at sharp end - the frontline staff who tell us where help is needed - They’re the real heroes.”