LONDON — One week ago, 99-year-old army veteran Tom Moore set himself a £1,000 ($1,250) fundraising target for Britain’s National Health System as it battles the country’s severe coronavirus outbreak. To raise the money, he would undertake 100 laps of his 25-meter garden using his walker. The plan was to split the laps into chunks of 10 and complete them ahead of his upcoming 100th birthday at the end of April.
On April 10, in just 24 hours, it was confirmed that Moore had shuffled past his £1,000 target and raised over £70,000. By Tuesday, four days later, he had raised 1 million pounds through the JustGiving website.
As of Wednesday morning local time, he has generated over 4.8 million pounds ($6 million) for Britain’s widely cherished but chronically underfunded National Health Service and that figure continues to grow — as does international interest and support for Moore.
And he’s going to keep on walking.
This is 99-year-old war veteran Tom Moore from Bedfordshire. He’s walking 100 lengths of his 25-metre garden ahead of his 100th birthday, all for @NHSCharities
— Rebecca Haworth (@Beccareports55) April 8, 2020
Moore, or “Captain Moore” as he is known on social media, served in World War II and now lives in Bedfordshire, England. “No words can express our gratitude,” his daughter, Hannah, told BBC Radio 5 on Wednesday, adding that the family once hesitantly dreamed that they might raise as much as £5,000 by the end of the month.
She also revealed that Moore had suffered a broken hip in the past and the injury had made him less independent but that his new found fame and fundraising target has given him a new found sense of purpose. “He is articulate, he is alive, I think he’ll do this until everyone says stop,” she said.
Around the world people are using the hashtag #walkwithtom to offer their well wishes to the veteran. Children across Britain are now making and decorating birthday cards for Captain Tom to help him celebrate turning 100 and sending them to his address.