Captain Tom Moore touched the hearts of people around the world after completing 100 laps in his backyard garden earlier this month to raise more than $36 million for the U.K.’s National Health Service amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, thousands of Moore’s admirers are showing him their appreciation in return, according to BBC.
Ahead of his 100th birthday on Thursday, the World War II veteran has received an astonishing 125,000 birthday cards. The letters have come from all over the globe, and include cards from Prince William and Kate Middleton, former Olympian Kelly Holmes, and English football star Harry Kane.
“The volume of cards that have been sent to granddad is just astonishing,” Moore’s 16-year-old grandson, Benjie Ingram-Moore, told BBC.
Because their local post office had been inundated with cards, Ingram-Moore turned to his school for help. Over the last few days, the school’s staff, along with parents and students, have volunteered to organize Moore’s cards on a display set up in the school’s hall.
A photograph of Ingram-Moore in front of the arrangement shows him dwarfed by the sea of cards that have been sent to his grandfather.
“So many of the cards are truly heartfelt with thousands from young children who have taken the time to use their artistic talent and write a personal message,” Ingram-Moore told the outlet.
To further honor the veteran, all letters sent through Royal Mail this week will be marked with a special stamp to commemorate Moore becoming a centenarian.
“Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero 30th April 2020,” the Royal Mail’s special stamp reads, according to BBC.
Born in Keighley, Yorkshire, Moore attended Keighley Grammar School before earning an apprenticeship as a civil engineer, a description on his JustGiving page reads. At the beginning of World War II, he was enlisted in the 8 DWR (145 RAC) of the British army.
He was later selected for officer training in 1940 and went on to serve in India, Indonesia and England, the page notes.
After his wife Pamela died in 2006, Moore moved in with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, her husband and their two children in Bedfordshire, CNN reported.
Not only has he helped to raise money by walking, but Moore has also done so by showing off his singing talents.
Moore recently starred in a cover of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with singer Michael Ball, which went viral on YouTube and has become a No. 1 single in the U.K. Proceeds from the chart-topper will benefit the NHS.
“We’re in this together, and I am forever grateful for your support,” Moore told BBC of his hit song. “And this just proves ‘you’ll never walk alone.’”