He walked 100 lengths of his garden with his walker. Tom Moore has sparked extraordinary generosity, raising almost 23 million euros for hospitals.
A 99-year-old Briton, Tom Moore, has become a true “hero” in his country after having collected more than 20 million pounds for caregivers walking 100 lengths of his garden with his walker.
At a time when the country has nearly 15,000 Coronavirus Covid-19 dead, the story of this veteran of the Second World War, who served in India and then in Burma, put a balm in the hearts of the British.
Tom Moore had set himself the goal of walking 100 lengths of 25 meters from his garden in Bedfordshire, in central England, before celebrating his 100th birthday on April 30. He planned to raise 1,000 pounds sterling for associations supporting employees of the public health service, the National Health Service (NHS), volunteers who came to help them and patients.
But the generosity of the public has exceeded all expectations, skyrocketing and exceeding Friday evening the 20 million pounds, or 23 million euros.
One million people answered his call
Thursday, “Captain Tom” completed the last few meters in a jacket covered with medals and a tie, leaning on his walker, between two rows of soldiers standing at attention.
“I feel good and I hope you are all doing well,” said the BBC microphone engineer. “It’s an incredible amount of money.”
His daughter Hannah, also on the BBC, said the veteran was planning to “keep walking until people think it’s worth the investment” in this cause.
Although the former soldier’s challenge is over, donations continue to flow. Nearly a million people answered his call, including Prince William, said Kensington Palace without revealing the amount of his gesture.
Tom Moore has become “a true legend,” said Elizabeth II’s grandson on the BBC. “Everyone was inspired by their history and their determination”.
His feat has been emulated: a ninety year old intends to climb the equivalent of the Suilven mountain in Scotland (731 meters) by climbing 282 times the steps of her staircase.
Margaret Payne, 90, embarked on this challenge, which will take her two months to complete. As of Friday evening, she had already collected more than 140,000 pounds for the NHS, five times her original goal.