British WW2 veteran, Captain Tom Moore, seeing the carnage of the coronavirus around him, decided to challenge himself and raise funds for frontline health workers – walking 100 lengths of his back garden ahead of his 100th birthday on April 30.
He had no idea how big his plans would grow, captivating the imaginations and generosity of millions of people around the world. His family started a fundraising page on Blackbaud’s JustGiving platform and intended to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together — that supports the health and emotional wellbeing of the National Health Services (NHS) medical professionals and volunteers who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle. To date, Captain Tom has raised more than $37 million.
“It’s inspiring to see how Captain Moore has captured the hearts of people in three-fourths of the world’s countries — from Ethiopia to Djibouti, Ecuador, Vietnam, Turkey, Spain, New Zealand, the UK, the United States and 135 more,” said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO of Blackbaud. “This is an unprecedented moment.”
On reaching the $6 million mark, Moore explained his motivation:
“When we started with this exercise, we didn’t anticipate we’d get anything near that sort of money,” he explains. “It’s amazing. All of them, from top to bottom, in the National Health Service, they deserve everything that we can give them. They’re all so brave. Because every morning or every night they’re putting themselves in harm’s way, and I think you’ve got to give them full marks for that effort. We’re a little bit like having a war at the moment. But the doctors and the nurses, they’re all on the frontline, and all of us behind, we’ve got to supply them and keep them going with everything that they need, so that they can do their jobs even better than they’re doing now.”