As the world reels from the senseless brutality of Monday night's terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, it can be some comfort to look to the many acts of human kindness displayed in response to the tragedy. People offering their homes to stranded victims, taxi drivers giving free rides, strangers helping to reunite families, queues of volunteer blood donors, and of course, the emergency service workers—many of whom came in on their days off to help.
While nothing can ever really be enough to thank paramedics, nurses, doctors, police officers, and firefighters for their work at times like this, one guy had an idea for a small offering. Although it didn't stay small for long.
On Tuesday morning after learning of the attack, London businessman Edmund Hall set up a crowdfunding page raising money for staff at the Manchester Royal Infirmary to enjoy drinks and food at a nearby pub. The hospital is currently looking after 19 victims of the attack, five of whom are in critical care.
Hall aimed to raise a £1,000 tab to put behind the bar at The Turning Tap, which stands adjacent to the hospital. He started the fund with a £100 donation of his own, stating that "people working shifts after a bombing shouldn't buy their own drinks."
Hall also wrote on the JustGiving page: "I'd like to put a few quid behind the bar at a pub near the Manchester Royal Infirmary. I know alcohol isn't the answer to the stress and trauma that the emergency services have experienced today, but it seems a simple and easy way to say thank you."
By 5 PM on Tuesday, the page had received thousands of pounds worth of donations and Hall extended the deadline so that more money could be raised to send to pubs close to other hospitals, police stations, and fire stations in the city. By Wednesday morning, the total reached £10,705 and as of writing, it stands at £11,508.
Many of those who donated money also posted messages of support for Manchester's emergency responders, including Michelle Rowlands, who wrote: "To all the emergency workers thank you for everything you do for us every single day, for running towards danger when everyone else is running the other way. Thank you xx."
The page is still open for donations, with Hall expressing his happy disbelief at the amount raised so far in an update yesterday: "I am speechless. We have raised ten thousand pounds to buy a drink for the wonderful men and women who are working so hard to help those affected by the terrible events in Manchester. Nothing we've done today will fix the damage, or lessen the pain of those directly affected, but emergency service and hospital workers should know that if we were there now, we would buy them a drink."
Cheers to that.