An English World War II veteran known as Captain Tom who raised over £29 million for the NHS has received 125,000 cards for his 100th birthday. He became a media sensation after raising money by doing laps of his Bedfordshire garden with his walking frame, according to Metro.
His efforts have caught the attention of many nationally, and people have shown their thanks by sending him birthday cards.
There have now been over 125,000 cards sent to Bedford School attended by Tom’s grandson Benjie, for Tom’s 100th birthday on Thursday.
When Benjie he realized that the post office was very busy with cards, he asked his school for help.
“The volume of cards that have been sent to granddad is just astonishing,” said Benjie.
“So many of the cards are truly heartfelt with thousands from young children who have taken the time to use their artistic talent and write a personal message.”
Through the birthday cards, £60,000 more has been donated.
“It means a lot to granddad as well as us as a family. We are hugely proud of how the nation has taken granddad to its heart,” said the 16-year-old. “Words can’t express how much I idolize him.”
About 140 school staff, parents and others connected with the school spent 1,750 hours going through cards and making a display inside the school.
The Bedford School Association director, Hugh Maltby said, “Benjie has been such an inspiration in his grandfather’s campaign that we wanted to offer a way of giving back.”
“When the family told us about all the cards being received at their local post office, I didn’t hesitate to offer school’s support to help open and display the cards.”
Headmaster James Hodgson noted, “We are so very proud to see how far Benjie has come with this—the story of his grandfather, Captain Tom Moore, has captured the nation and is a real affirmation of people’s kindness.”
“We are honoured to offer our Great Hall at Bedford School with our team of volunteers to act as both a makeshift sorting office and a place to display the incredible number of 100th birthday cards.”
A special postmark will also be posted on mail sent from April 26 to May 1. The post will say “Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero 30th April 2020.”
Tom reached his first target of £1,000 in just 24 hours and decided to take his challenge from 100 laps to 200 as he finished the first 100 two weeks earlier than expected.
Director of public affairs and policy at Royal Mail, David Gold said, “What Captain Thomas Moore has achieved is truly phenomenal, and this is reflected in the affection shown for him across the world.”
“As Royal Mail works to keep the country connected during these challenging times, we are honoured to issue a special postmark in celebration of his 100th birthday.”
“We continued to deliver the many tens of thousands of birthday cards from well-wishers across the UK and abroad as people look to show their gratitude for all he has achieved on a more personal level.”
“We would like to extend our own best wishes and congratulations to him from everyone at Royal Mail.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged the centenarian's great work saying, “If we, as a country, can show the same spirit of optimism and energy shown by Captain Tom Moore, who turns 100 this week, if we can show the same spirit of unity and determination as we have all shown in the past six weeks, then I have absolutely no doubt that we will beat it together.”
“We will come through this all the faster and the United Kingdom will emerge stronger than ever before.”