Veteran Turns Fundraising Hero for Frontline Health Workers!

The whole world is saluting Captain Tom Moore, the humble 99-year-old who has moved people in 53 countries to support medics.

Apr 17, 2020

This has to be one of the most beautiful and remarkable stories to come out of this pandemic. A modest but determined senior, living a quiet life with his extended family in a village in Bedfordshire, southeast England, has suddenly been catapulted into global headlines after doing laps in his garden with the help of his walking frame.

Yes, you heard right! But Captain Tom Moore has just accomplished an exceptional feat. This frail retiree has just raised a staggering £17 million ($21.2 million) and counting by midnight on April 16 for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) workers and their patients. And he has done this in days!

Now there’s talk from Boris Johnson, Coronavirus survivor, and Britain’s Prime Minister, of bestowing an honor of the highest order such as a knighthood on this gentleman, who has lifted everyone’s spirits! Celebrities like David Beckham, and the UK’s new family workout darling, Joe Wicks aka “The Body Coach”, are praising this unlikely hero. So is TV personality, Judge Judy from across the pond:

Meanwhile, his heartwarming story has impressed journalists worldwide, with everyone from The Jakarta Post to CNN to The Times of Israel and France 24 reporting on this achievement.

So how did this happen?

It all started when Second World War hero, Captain Moore, who gets around with a walking frame after a fall, decided independently to set himself a task. His goal was to walk 25 meters (just over 27 yards) around his garden 100 times before he turns 100 on April 30. This was with the intention of raising money for NHS healthcare workers who like their colleagues worldwide, are giving their all to caring for patients fighting Coronavirus, prompting him to want to give back in some way.

Before he knew it, after just a handful of media interviews, Captain Moore had captivated the world with his quest, and even hit his goal of 100 laps on April 16, a fortnight early! His original target of £1000 ($1250) was surpassed, and began to climb steeply. More and more regular people were moved to sponsor his efforts, until this wave of public support crashed global donation site, JustGiving, making him their biggest ever individual fundraiser!

Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment were in his pastoral garden, along with a camera crew and his proud daughter and grandchildren on April 16 to witness his final four laps. Asked how he felt at the “finish line” he said  “I’m surrounded by the right sort of people, so I feel fine, I hope you’re all feeling fine too!”

Captain Moore maintains his charming old-school humility. On that day, talking to the BBC afterwards, and thanking all those who donated, he deflected the conversation away from himself and back to the intended recipients:  “[I feel] completely out of this world! Thank you so much to all you people who subscribe to the National Health Service because, for every penny that we get, they deserve every one.”

The money raised will go to 150 NHS charities. It will be spent on wellbeing packs for NHS staff, recuperation rooms with sleep pods, electronic devices to enable hospital patients to stay in contact with loved ones, and provide community groups helping discharged patients and their families with welfare grants.

Though plans for a celebration marking Captain Moore’s centenarian milestone have been put on hold due to the lockdown, he joked that the outpouring of love and support he received was “a party enough for me!”

Nothing can stop Captain Moore! As long as members of the public continue to support him, he will keep marching on. And he has words of hope for everyone too, telling BBC Breakfast “We will get through it in the end but it might take time. [To] all the people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine again and the clouds will go away!”

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DAPHNE KASRIEL ALEXANDER, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Daphne has a background in editing, writing and global trends. She is inspired by trends seeing more people care about sharing and protecting resources, enjoying experiences over products and celebrating their unique selves. Making the world a better place has been a constant motivation in her work.