A small UK book store, ‘Bookbugs and Dragon Tales’ in Norwich was on the brink of closing its doors. Leanne and Dan Fridd, the couple who run the bookstore posted a crowdfunder link seeking donations for the bookstore, promising to use any additional funds to do further outreach work with children. Their goal was to raise 15,000 euros and just hours after posting the online promotion, they received a donation that left them “squealing” with joy.
Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe made a generous donation of 5,000 euros. The actor’s outreach has won hearts online with many users praising him. Leanne said “It’s bonkers,” and the surprise of the donation left them chanting “Russell Crowe, Russell Crowe,” nearly the entirety of the following day. Leanne said she believed the actor had heard of the shop and the appeal on social media via a mutual friend.
The Fridd’s explained that they opened their doors in 2019 and the Covid 19 pandemic along with continued rise in cost of living has set their many goals for outreach programs back 4 years as they struggled to keep their business open. They managed to stay afloat, but feared the cost of living crisis could become “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Leanne said “I have heard that this is what he is like – he is really supportive and just wants to make a difference. It’s going to have a huge impact. Every donation makes us really hopeful for the future and the message is really clear – we are valued – and to have a celebrity has added that bit of sparkle.”