99-Year-Old WWII Veteran's "Walkathon" Is Helping Raise Millions For Coronavirus First Responders

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Former British Army Captain Tom Moore is raising millions for Britain's National Health Service workers (Credit: Moore Family)

When 99-year-old Tom Moore announced a "walkathon" to help Britain's National Health Service (NHS) staff, he was hoping to collect a modest £1,000 ($1,250). Instead, the World War II veteran has managed to raise millions from donors worldwide in less than two weeks, and the money is still pouring in at unprecedented rates.

"Suddenly we were on £50,000 [$62,41]. Then £100,000 [$124,825]. Now the figures are just unbelievable," a beaming Moore told Daily Mail on April 15, 2020. "I turn my back for a few minutes, and it's shot up again. It's astonishing money. The sort of money you just can't visualize."

Moore's quest to raise money for the selfless and courageous healthcare workers serving at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic began on April 9, 2020, with a fundraising campaign on JustGiving.com. Entitled "Captain Tom Moore's 100 Birthday Walk for the NHS," it outlined his desire to raise money for the worthy cause by walking 100 laps of his 27-yard garden in Bedfordshire, England, before his 100th birthday on April 30, 2020. Moore's daughter, Hannah, who encouraged him to take up the challenge, said her father was seeking a way to thank the NHS doctors and nurses who helped him during a recent hip replacement surgery and a previous bout with skin cancer.

As part of a fundraising campaign, Moore promised to walk 100 laps of his garden by his 100th birthday on April 30, 2020 (Credit: Moore Family)

Though cautiously optimistic, Moore and his daughter believed their fundraising goal was a "stretch." To their pleasant surprise, they surpassed the £1,000 ($1,250) target within 24 hours of the campaign's start, and the donations have only accelerated since. As of April 16, 2020, an astounding £15,889,673.66 ($ 19,834,285) has been donated by 790,339 supporters.

In an interview with British television hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, a delighted Moore said: "It just shows that we're such a generous, thoughtful people throughout the country. We're so generous in every way that this sort of money had come along, and it's for such a super purpose for our doctors, our nurses, all the backup people deserve everything that we can give them."

Moore completing his final ten laps on live television with the National Guard in attendance (Credit: BBC/YouTube screen capture)

And Moore is far from done. After completing the final 10 of his promised 100 laps ahead of schedule on April 15, 2020, he announced his intention to continue the fundraising effort by walking an additional 100 laps — in 10-lap daily increments — by his centennial birthday. Moore's daughter is delighted about her father's decision to keep going, and says that the worthy cause is giving him a new purpose, something to look forward to each day.

When asked about the COVID-19 pandemic, the retired civil servant said, "You've all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right. For all those people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again, and the clouds will go away."

Resources: Dailymail.co.uk, BBC.com, NPR.org

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196 Comments
  • octopus1234
    octopus1234Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 8:31 am
    Hooray! Even at 100 years old he persevered and kept going. Sadly he died 2 months ago, but his legacy will live on! Donations are still pouring in.
    • octopus1234
      octopus1234Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 8:36 am
      When the campaign ended on Tom's 100th birthday at the end of the day, £32,796,475 had been raised, plus £6,173,663.31 expected from tax rebates. That's £38,9701,38.31 altogether! Congratulations! When I said donations are still pouring in they are, because the Tom Moore Foundation is still open for donation.
      • octopus1234
        octopus1234Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 8:37 am
        More than 1.5 million people donated.
      • octopus1234
        octopus1234Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 8:31 am
        More exactly, he passed away on February 2nd 2021.
      • pinklilcow
        pinklilcowMonday, February 1, 2021 at 7:07 am
        Go grandpa!👏🏻I would like to do that to I usaly have a lemonade stand and donate the money to a local animal shelter!🐈🐕But I can not because covid-19 I have almost 50 dollars I am goin to give to that shelter when I get 100 dollars! I love to give.😍😘
        • tdflame5272007
          tdflame5272007Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 9:18 am
          Well your a good person for doing that for the animals that are there
        • kurz
          kurzFriday, January 22, 2021 at 8:23 am
          You go cap!!!
          • horse123456
            horse123456Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 5:10 pm
            Age don't matter
            • maria_goodvibes
              maria_goodvibesSaturday, December 12, 2020 at 9:51 am
              I wish I could thank him for his service, after all, he's done for other people and not focused on himself with him being a hundred as of now that is crazy and it's a great thing that he is doing this for other people not for himself.
              • heyheygirl
                heyheygirlSunday, December 6, 2020 at 8:35 am
                Tom Moore is an awesome man
                • dragonhearted
                  dragonheartedThursday, November 5, 2020 at 4:21 pm
                  My heart has now officially just melted away. (Except for puppies, I'm sorry, but they are TOO cute!😍😍😍)
                  • noiwantthecandy
                    noiwantthecandyThursday, November 5, 2020 at 12:24 pm
                    I have no heart. It already melted.
                    • wolfieland
                      wolfielandSaturday, August 15, 2020 at 2:33 pm
                      he is amazing btw it doesnt matter how old u are u can still do it!
                      • kiarathequeen
                        kiarathequeenSunday, August 9, 2020 at 1:58 pm
                        this shows you can be any age to be anything 👴👶
                        • pinklilcow
                          pinklilcowMonday, February 1, 2021 at 7:08 am
                          I agree
                          • wolfieland
                            wolfielandSaturday, August 15, 2020 at 2:32 pm
                            yup