A 99-year-old World War II veteran has raised $17 million for health workers in the UK simply by walking in his yard. Tom Moore set out to complete 100 lengths of his 82-foot garden in Bedfordshire, England, before his 100th birthday on April 30, knocking them off in groups of 10. The retired captain, who recently underwent treatment for cancer and a broken hip, initially hoped to raise $1,250, reports AFP. But donations came in so fast to the JustGiving page set up last week that it actually crashed for a time. As of this writing, a day after he completed his mission with help from a wheeled walker, Moore had raised $17 million from 690,000 people. The money will go to NHS Charities Together, which says 150 charities will benefit as a result, per the BBC.
"It's the National Health Service, who are doing such a magnificent job for us all," but "I never even dreamt of that sort of money," Moore told Reuters as his campaign hit the $1 million mark just days ago. JustGiving said the total amount raised was its largest donation ever. "We are absolutely floored by what has been achieved," Moore's daughter tells the BBC, describing her father as "a beacon of hope in dark times." The veteran also received congratulations from nurses, politicians, and actors, while nearly 2,000 people signed a petition requesting that he receive knighthood. Moore, however, is content to rally the troops. "For all those people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again," he says, per the BBC. "We will get through it in the end." (Read more uplifting news stories.)