|Charlie Goes to Downing Street|
Seven year-old's fund-raising rises to £170,000 .. and counting!
Fulham schoolboy Charlie Simpson's fund-raising for the victims of the Haiti earthquake has soared to £170,000 as word of his epic efforts spreads around the world.
The total on Charlie's By lunchtime on Wednesday, the total on Charlie's JustGiving page was heading towards £170,000, with thousands of messages of congratulations from as far away as Japan, Australia and America, plus European countries including Portugal, Austria and Bulgaria.
Charlie has also visited Downing Street where he was personally congratulated by Sarah Brown, wife of the Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown also sent his own message from Northern Ireland saying: " Charlie's dedication in raising money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake is truly inspirational and a shining example of the kind of friendship, goodness, and compassion so often shown by British people."
Charlie originally aimed to collect £500 for UNICEF's Haiti Earthquake Children's Appeal by riding seven times around South Park - a distance of five miles.
But as news of his epic effort spread, the money poured in, and Charlie was soon featured on the front cover of newspapers and being interviewed on radio and TV.
The total soared from £7,000 on Friday to over £100,00 over the weekend, and now it is heading for an astonishing £200,000.
The funds will go to help UNICEF’s work in Haiti where they are leading emergency relief clusters on Water and Sanitation, Education and Nutrition as well as supporting on child protection.
On his JustGiving page Charlie says: "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. I am going to cycle around South Park as many times as possible.
"Please can you sponsor me and all your money will go to UNICEF who are collecting for Haiti."
Now proud mum Leonora and dad Dan have added their message. They say: " To be honest, it is hard to know where to even begin thanking you all for your kind words, support and extraordinary generosity. We could never have dreamed of, or envisaged a response like this.
" Our friends and family obviously know how overwhelmed we are but I’m not sure how to convey our appreciation to those of you who we haven’t met before. I’m just going to say a huge thank you to all of you who have contributed, and to those of you who continue to donate… it couldn’t have been done without you!!!! THANK YOU!
" Charlie is keen to say thank you himself, so I’ll get him to write a note once things have settled down a bit!
" What I will say is that UNICEF who have been doing such amazing work to help the people, and specifically the children, of Haiti will now be able to do even more to help; thanks to everyone of you."
Unicef's executive director for the UK, David Bull, said: "Charlie is a real inspiration to us all and it was fantastic to see his tremendous efforts recognised by Downing Street.
UNICEF does not receive money from the DEC nor from the UN budget, and relies on voluntary donations.
January 25, 2010