London boy, 7, gets on his bike to raise £150,000-plus for Haiti appeal
LONDON, United Kingdom, 26 January 2010 – In a stirring example of the generosity seen worldwide in the aftermath of the 12 January earthquake in Haiti, Charlie Simpson, 7, has raised tens of thousands of British pounds for children in Haiti by completing a five-mile sponsored cycle around his local park.
Charlie, from Fulham in south-west London, decided to raise funds for UNICEF's Haiti crisis response by cycling around the borough's South Park seven times last Sunday. He initially aimed to raise £500, but now his total stands at over £150,000 and counting.
On his online sponsorship page , Charlie explained: "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."
Donations from around the globe
The funds raised by Charlie and other young British donors are supporting UNICEF UK's Haiti Earthquake Children's Appeal.
UNICEF has sent emergency teams from around the region to help children and families in Haiti, and aid is getting through – providing safe water, preventing disease and saving lives. However, more supplies are urgently needed.
Charlie's fundraising has captured the public imagination and generated sponsors from as far afield as Hong Kong and New Zealand.
'Something quite special'
"What started off as a little cycle round the park with his dad has turned into something a lot bigger than that, and we can't believe it," said Charlie's mother, Leonora Simpson.
"He's done really well. He's worked hard and he's raised a phenomenal amount of money. He really felt strongly about this and thought that something had to be done. It was great to see him so motivated. I am extremely proud of our Charlie," she added.
"There's something quite special about a child in the UK reaching out to the children of Haiti," said UNICEF UK's Haiti Appeal Director, Michael Newsome. "It's quite fabulous."
UNICEF UK Executive Director David Bull described the bike-riding fundraiser as "bold" and "innovative," demonstrating that Charlie "not only understands what children his own age must be going through in Haiti, but is also wise enough to know that he can help them.... I thank Charlie for his effort."
DONATE NOW to support UNICEF's relief work for affected children in Haiti.
UNICEF Philippines raises funds for emergencies based on country needs. Should the total contributions exceed the funding needs for a certain emergency, the funds received will be reallocated to other UNICEF emergency programmes where the need is greatest.