For his hundredth birthday (April 30, 2020), former captain of the British army, Tom Moore, desired a very special gift.
Recently, Tom broke his hip and received excellent care from the British national health service (NHS), which helped him to walk again with the help of a walking frame.
To express his gratitude towards those that had looked after him with great skill and loving-kindness, Tom decided to make his contribution to the fight against the coronavirus.
With the help of his family, he launched an online fundraiser, promising, in exchange, to do one hundred laps of his garden (25 meters) by April 30, with the help of his walking frame.
The challenge was launched on April 10, via Twitter “I’m Captain Moore, war veteran, 99 years of age (soon to be 100) and I’m walking for the NHS, to raise money for our heroes”.
He was to complete the challenge before his birthday with the aim of raising one thousand British pounds. After 12 days, the amount he raised already exceeded 23 million.
One of the donators wrote: “A hero helping heroes. Well done Captain Tom!”.
And seeing the extraordinary success of his initiative, Moore declared, “I don’t want to stop. The more money comes to our public health service, the happier I am. Because when I needed it, doctors and nurses were fantastic, always kind and compassionate towards me”:
At the end of his garden marathon, Tom managed to raise more than 32 million British pounds. But it didn’t stop there.
He then went on to sing a rendition of the Liverpool anthem “You’ll never walk alone” with the singer Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care choir, with all money raised going to charity (in a strictly remote performance, due to the lockdown).
And again, his success was overwhelming: in just a few days the single sold more than 80,000 copies, reaching number one in the British singles charts and the video has been viewed more than 1,600,000 times on YouTube.
The funds raised by Tom will go towards wellbeing packs for hospital staff, rest and recovery rooms, as well as electronic devices to enable patients to stay in contact with their loved ones.