The other day I posed the question: "who is the more sustaining? Those who only care about themselves, or those who look out for others?" The story of Charlie Simpson, gives me hope it is the latter.
Young Charlie, all of seven years old, saw the images of the Haiti earthquake survivors and wanted to do something to help. He told his folks he wanted to organise a sponsored bike-a-thon around his local park in London, UK. He hoped to raise £500 ($800 USD). At the time of writing he'd amassed donations for UNICEF worth over £67,800 ($109,000 USD). According to a spokesperson for the UK branch of the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, Charlie now holds the record for most funds raised in a single day. When Charlie had raised just £9,000, UNICEF told BBC News (see video here, with Charlie also being interviewed) that money could help 900 families protect themselves from waterborn diseases. We assume £70,500 (as it now stands, by the time we had this post written up) goes much further.
To get up to his eight kilometres (five miles) of cycling, Charlie rode laps around South Park in Fulham with his dad and a friend. The BBC reported that at the 1.5 mile mark Charlie was finding it "quite tiring." But on he went. (See BBC News footage of Charlie pedaling in his 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. I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti." From his JustGiving page, which is still open for donations. So if you want to help UNICEF support the children of Haiti, go donate, so that Charlie's passionate pedaling feat is appropriately rewarded.
Go Charlie, you rock.
Put a bicycle in the right hands, and its power to do good never ceases to amaze.
See also Daily Telegraph and ABC
More Haiti Relief
• Help For Haiti Earthquake Aftermath. Giving Green.
• Solar Panels to Help Light Up the Night for Haiti Earthquake Relief
• Architecture For Humanity's Plan For Haiti; Cameron Sinclair Says "Steal This Plan"
• Highlights of 'Hope for Haiti,' $57 Million and Counting