Captain Tom Moore raised more than $45 million for British healthcare workers by walking laps around his garden. His attitude, more than his fundraising, made him a hero. Moore passed away in February. But his legacy lives on, inspiring more people to do their best in helping others.
During his daily walks, the then-99-year-old Moore challenged others to “do whatever you can to help others.” (Read Captain Tom Moore Passes.) Moore’s attitude is a bit like the one encouraged in Galatians 6:10: “Let us do good to all people.” (NASB) He persuaded young people that it’s never too soon to start helping, and the old that it’s never too late.
Five-year-old Tony Hudgell lost both legs as a baby. But when he heard what Moore was doing, he wanted to help. He set out to walk 6.2 miles and raise $686 for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital. Tony’s challenge attracted over $2 million in donations.
“Captain Sir Tom inspired so many people to take on their own extraordinary challenges, from running marathons to swimming lakes,” says Ellie Orton, chief executive of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) Charities Together. She adds, “He gave us all hope.”
Margaret Payne is on the other end of the fundraising age range. The 90-year-old climbed stairs in her home to raise over $570,000 for the NHS. Payne calculated that her 282 flights was equal to climbing Suilven, one of Scotland’s best known mountains, or 2,398 feet.
Imogen Papworth-Heidel also followed Moore’s example. The 11-year-old soccer player dreams of playing for England. As she watched Captain Tom push his walker around his garden, she wanted to help. She chose something she’s good at: keepie uppies. Also called keep-ups and kick-ups, the skill involves juggling a ball with feet, head, and shoulders and without letting it touch the ground.
Imogen chose an ambitious goal: 7.1 million kicks. That’s “one for every single key worker in the whole of the country,” she says.
After realizing it would take her a long time on her own, Imogen found other people who did keepie uppies. Her band of volunteer ball bouncers donated their kicks to her via video.
“People did six million keepie uppies in total, and I did 1.1 million,” she says. “It’s just really amazing how many people donated and spent their time actually doing the keepie uppies. I’m really grateful.”
Imogen ended up juggling her way to $20,500 for key workers keeping British hospitals open, streets safe, and trains running. Plus, the practice gained her more accuracy and ball control—which could help her national team goal.
But the lessons gleaned from Captain Tom go beyond feats of walking, climbing, and kicking. Imogen says she learned to “keep on going and not to give up halfway through something.” That’s a lesson for life.