Seven-year-old Charlie Simpson has raised more than $195,000 for the Haiti earthquake.
Simpson from Fulham, West London, had only hoped to raise $800 for UNICEF’s earthquake appeal by cycling eight kilometers (five miles) around a local park.
“My name is Charlie Simpson. I want to do a sponsored bike ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives,” said Simpson on his JustGiving page, a fundraising site which launched his efforts. “I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti,” he said. And with that simple call, messages of support flooded the site.
More donations began pouring in after the story caught the attention of the British media – with many cheering Simpson past the £100,000 mark. Even the British Prime, Minister Gordon Brown, is spreading the message. His “Downing Street” Twitter alias said: “Amazed by response to the great fundraising efforts of 7-yr-old Charlie Simpson for the people of Haiti.”
David Bull, UNICEF UK executive director, described Simpson’s efforts as “very bold and innovative…On behalf of the many children in Haiti, I thank Charlie for his effort.”