More than anything in the world, Lydia Farrell enjoys making people happy. During her day job as a nurse, she treats the wounded and helps the sick get better. Seeing ill people recover brings so much joy to Farrell. But she also likes spreading joy in small ways as well. For example, she recently put out a container with free apples so her neighbors could indulge in the delicious fruit that she loves so much – but local law enforcement did not like her idea one bit.
Instead of applauding her generosity, the Ealing Council of West London slapped the 33-year-old nurse with the equivalent of a $200 fine for trying to share some fresh fruit with others on her street. Because she was stunned to receive a fine for her generous good deed, she turned to Facebook to talk about being “disheartened” that she was punished for trying to bring joy to other people. And as you can imagine, other people are Facebook shocked that the Ealing Council was filled with such heartless people.
On August 24, 2020, Farrell wrote the following message on Facebook:
“Feeling disheartened…..the council has fined us £150 for “fly tipping” because we’ve been leaving free apples outside our house in cardboard boxes (because people were taking the pots!) A good deed unfortunately gone wrong.”
Her story quickly went viral. Within a matter of days, she found herself overwhelmed with support from people in her community as well as other people from across the world. From her humble home in West London, England, she was inundated with words of kindness and demonstrations of support. She found her inbox filled with so many notes of encouragement that she returned to her Facebook post to share an update.
“Apple update – after reading through all my messages and speaking with the lovely @VanessaOnAir, it seems I won’t have to pay the fine! I’ll keep sharing my apples but maybe fix them to my wall somehow next time. Thanks for everyone’s support and kind words.
“And we now have some passion fruit growing!”
The support came streaming in with hundreds of comments. Below are just a few that seemed relevant to the overall experience that shocked users of Facebook.
“That’s so stupid, people used to do that kind of thing all the time and never had a problem. Clearly, they have nothing better to do.”
“I would be straight to the newspapers and kicking off about that!”
“Wow that’s ridiculous! Agree with the above- contact a local newspaper; it might make them think twice.”
“How stupid. As others have suggested, I would contact newspapers to seek their support. Put a press release together and send this with the photos.”
“What !!! Is that all the council have got to worry about what about drug dealers trading outside schools. What about litter in the street? Tell them to contact me if they have nothing better to do, and I’ll go through the extensive list I have”
Do you think this generous nurse should have been fined for offering free apples to her neighbors?
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