He fought in World War II in India and Burma, and has now wanted to deal with the coronavirus. Retired Captain Tom Moore thought about how to contribute to the fight that his country is fighting, with more than 120,000 confirmed cases of the disease and more than 16,000 deaths, and he thought of a viral challenge: walk 100 meters 25 meters from his garden to raise funds before turning 100, next April 30. The walker that Moore has used since he fractured his hip has allowed him: last Thursday he completed the tour and has managed to collect from his fans more than 25 million pounds (28.6 million euros) that will go to the coffers of the Service British National Health.
The effort of the old captain has deserved words of admiration from Prince Henry, who this Saturday congratulated him in a podcast for British Army veterans. “Congratulations to Tom. What he has done is very exciting. And not only what he has done, but the reaction people have had. Something wonderfully British,” says the Reuters agency. The Duke of Cambridge has referred to it as “a fundraising machine”, notes the BBC. Also Prime Minister Boris Johnson, affected by covid-19, has praised the effort and has indicated that he is studying how to recognize the “heroic efforts” of the centennial Moore.
The veteran initially set himself a much more modest goal: to raise £ 1,000, but that goal was soon outweighed by the interest of the media, who voiced their challenge and managed to focus attention on his Bedfordshire garden in the central zone of England. More than a million people have donated for his cause.
“I am still impressed by the amount of kindness and generosity of the people of the UK who continue to donate despite for many people this is a time of uncertainty,” said the veteran in a statement released last Saturday. Her daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, has also been excited. “There are no words left to say; we cannot believe so much generosity in people and he feels overwhelmed by them.”
A popular online petition has proposed that Moore be knighted; it is already supported by more than 680,000 firms. For now, his feat has earned him an invitation as a guest of honor at the opening of a new field hospital in the town of Harrogate (northern England), next week, installed to combat the epidemic.
The challenge of the almost centennial has far exceeded in money the one proposed by a British athlete, James Campbell, who offered to run a full marathon (42.2 kilometers) in his small garden. Campbell promised to do the marathon if one of his tweets reached 10,000 retweets. And his exhausting career was not in vain: he has managed to raise 18,000 pounds (just over 20,000 euros), which he will donate to the British health service.
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