Local charity East Renfrewshire Good Causes (ERGC) has passed yet another incredible milestone.
The charity, founded in 2007 by 54-year-old registered blind man Russell Macmillan, from Newton Mearns, was set up by Russell and a few trusted friends to thank God for his second gift of life and to honour the memory of the sadly deceased organ donor, whose pancreas and kidney “live on” inside Russell after a successful double transplant in 2007.
ERGC has now purchased £409,373 from suppliers of a myriad of “goods and services” and the same again in value of donated non-perishable food, trade discounts, items etc.
The running total is beyond £800,000, which has helped at least 2140 individual neighbours with the East Renfrewshire area.
That is two per cent of the area’s population, so ERGC will now have helped many people living in a street near you.
Russell said: “I could never in a million years have thought that these two diabetes-curing and life-saving organs would power me, and guided by my strong personal Christian faith, could have loved so many of our neighbours.
“I certainly hope the donor is in heaven looking down approvingly on the incredible good they have facilitated in our own area.”
“I believe our modern western society has become very complex, and perhaps we have lost some of the simplicity of yester year, but there is still so much “hidden need” in our own streets, that you only find that need by relying on the many unsung heroes that have brought these varying needs to us.
“If it wasn’t for the teachers, housing, health and social care staff working with us, we could never have found all these 2140 people we have helped, and I would like to say a very big thank you to all the local council and health staff for their dedicated team working with us, as collectively we have worked wonders in East Renfrewshire.
“From Alzheimers to Autism, young to old, cancer, MS, blind, deaf and so much more, they are all present in your own street, and require us to work together to show we care, by topping up the standard over and above the pre-existing state provision.”
Russell continued: “Trained frontline workers bring their ‘knowledge of unmet need’ to us, we then raise money from our supporters, ranging from individuals, businesses, churches, trusts, clients themselves to name just a few.
“Whether, like me, you are inspired by your Christian faith, or you just want to play your bit in your own community, then please sign up to a monthly standing order as we need a larger number of regular donors to enable us to love more of our neighbours living in a street near you.
“Together we can make a huge difference, so I look forward to you becoming a true friend of East Renfrewshire.”
To become a friend of ERGoodCauses and do your bit, contact Russell on 07714293256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just some of East Renfrewshire Good Causes’ achievements over the last six months:
• Money for social worker to take adult client to buy some clothes to increase the client’s chances of gaining employment – long period of poverty due to mental health issues (50% ERGC)
• Two £30 grants given to local primary school to allow teachers to do a supervised spend to buy emergency food for the children over the weekend after separate families have no food (100%)
• Bunk bed base for a hard working single wage earner family on low income to help alleviate the overcrowding home situation where one child has chronic health condition (50%)
• A public access defibrillator, stand and installation outside the Auchenback Resource Centre, Barrhead – Worked with Levern Valley community DEFIB Partnership (28% ERGCauses)
• Five large bags of donated groceries/toiletries from the Co-op store at Broom Road East, Newton Mearns down to Overlee House for distribution amongst the homeless (0%)
• Through Barrhead Citizens Advice Bureau, provided a basic microwave for a single dad with primary school age child who had no cooking facilities as cooker had broken down (100% ERGoodCauses)
• Insurance policy to provide reassurance against future breakages of a personal laptop used by a young adult with nonverbal autism (100%)
• Top up Nursery school fees to support a young mother fleeing domestic violence where the ex-partner had taken loans out in her name (100%)
• A new bed for an autistic child with severe sensory issues – family consist of an ex-serviceman who is currently unable to work whilst receiving support to help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after leaving active service (50% ERGoodCauses)
• Microwave, Asda vouchers, four bags groceries/toiletries for an ex services veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder – had been living for over a month using only a kettle/cup for very basic food with no means of cooking.
• Washer/Dryer for a pensioner with spinal arthritis, spondylosis, diverticulitis resulting in additional requirement to wash/dry bed clothes due to medical conditions (50% ERGC)
• Car load of breakfast products given to local primary school to enable volunteer teachers to run a breakfast club to support vulnerable kids and families.
• Accompanied transport for two elderly WW2 veterans with sight loss to attend the Scottish War Blinded resource centre in Paisley – this payment will allow them six return journeys each way with a trained sighted guide (funded initially by ERGC but recompensed by Jewish Care Scotland)
• Purchased suite (£30) from the excellent second hand furniture initiative called ‘Helping Hands G78’ for a hardworking, low income family – help those trying to help themselves (100%)
• Money to social worker to go out and buy suitable clothing for a young teenager who has had to move and live in a kinship carer set up due to the drug addiction of both the parents (50%)
• Driving lessons in partnership with Orchardhill & Netherlee Parish churches, along with social work (SDS money) – for a mum with a severely disabled primary school age child – state will provide a Motability car once mum passes her test (10% ERGCauses)
• Working with Netherlee Parish Church we provided a Christmas present for a child whose single parent who had a previous chaotic lifestyle due to drug dependency – mum engaged with social work, addiction services and stabilising her life for the benefit of her and child (50%)
• Money to a social worker to purchase three small Christmas gifts for a mother fleeing domestic abuse with her three kids and living in temporary homeless accommodation (100% ERGC)
• Basic entry level fridge/freezer for a family unit where mum is fleeing domestic violence along with two children – one kid is autistic – state provided carpets etc. and we topped up (100%)
• A PAT tested donated television given to a family who were setting up a new tenancy after spending prolonged period staying in temporary homeless accommodation (0% ERGC)
•Laptop to help an adult carer enrol in an educational class to help alleviate some of the stresses surrounding them through their role as a carer (50% ERGC)
• £25 given to a social worker to purchase basic hygiene products for a young adult with a learning difficulties diagnosis whose presentation has declined since choosing to leave the support being offered by a foster family – client has capacity but is vulnerable (100% ERGC)
• Contribution shared with the client to purchase a riser recliner chair – adult with both physical and psychiatric disabilities – we try and show we care (60% ERGC)
• Christmas present for a child who recently lost their single parent to cancer – kinship arrangement in place, both new parents working, low income and looking after extra child (100%)
• Cot bed for a baby born to one of the refugee families who have been resettled in East Renfrewshire under the Scottish Governments Syrian resettlement programme (100% ERGC)
• IPad for a nonverbal autistic child to try and calm the child down and make it easier for the parents to care and look after the child who has challenging behaviours (50% ERGC)
• Asda vouchers worth £30 to buy food for a young man who recently started work but has no money until first wage comes in at the end of the month (donated to ERGC by church)
• Wet floor shower adaptation to help a carer maintain the hygiene of an elderly relative who suffers with severe dementia and restricted mobility – four funders including family (12% ERGC)