99-Year-Old British Army Vet Raises $23 Million To Fight Coronavirus

by Julie Scagell
99-Year-Old British Army Vet Raises $15 Million To Fight Coronavirus
NBC News/Facebook

Captain Moore walked 100 laps to raise money for the NHS

Retired war vet, Captain Tom Moore, wanted to do something to help the National Health Service workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. So, with his 100th (yes, 100th) birthday just weeks away, he started a fundraiser and decided to walk 100 laps around his garden with the hopes of raising £1,000. As of this morning, he’s raised almost £20M ($23M USD).

Moore, who served in India during World War II, set out to raise funds for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 times around his garden (in ten-lap chunks), fully dressed in his uniform and with the help of a walker. He completed his final ten laps on April 16th and after his story aired on the news, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Capt Tom’s JustGiving page, smashing his original fundraising goal.

Moore told BBC News the total amount raised so far was “an absolutely fantastic sum of money,” adding, “I feel fine, I hope you’re all feeling fine too.” So far, more than 800,000 have contributed to his goal, including an undisclosed donation from the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, who called Moore a “one-man fundraising machine.”

Moore began raising funds to thank the “magnificent” NHS staff who helped him beat cancer and a broken hip years before. The fundraising platform, JustGiving, said it is the largest total ever raised in a single campaign, donating £100,000 themselves to his cause. “I never dreamt I would be involved in such an occasion as this,” Moore said.

“He’s a beacon of hope in dark times and I think we all need something like this to believe in and it’s for such an amazing cause,” his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said.

“You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right,” he said of the coronavirus pandemic. “For all those people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.” If you think Moore is a national treasure, you’re not alone. People have been sending him messages of gratitude and appreciation has poured in from NHS workers on the frontline. A petition has even been started for him to receive a knighthood and has already been signed by over 300,000 people.

Of course, Moore has no plans to stop and said he’s going to continue walking to raise money for the NHS. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, he won’t be having a big 100th birthday celebration at the end of this month but as you can imagine, that’s just fine by him. He said all the love and support he’s received has been “a party enough for me.”