A BEEDON teenager has high hopes her bid to raise £1m in virtual hugs to help build a local children’s hospice will go viral – after BT set up a fast link for donations and also a text-donate link.
Holly George, aged 13, has come up with the fundraising brainwave called ‘A million hugs for Holly’, with the aim of raising £1m to finish the building of an Alexander Devine children’s hospice in Berkshire.
Despite her life-limiting condition – Holly was born with chromosone disorder DiGeorge syndrome – to date the Kennet School pupil has received nearly £12,000 – or 1,200 hugs – after making the plea for people to donate £1 per hug on July 9.
Now BT has come to her aid by making donation methods swift and simple, after the company set up a URL (direct link) page, along with her own text-donate numbers – the latter a privilege usually reserved for major national charities such as Children in Need and Comic Relief.
BT has not charged the charity for the set-up costs, and has also helped publicise the fundraiser, including on BT social media sites.
This support was praised as “wonderful” by Holly’s mother Sue, who said Holly, who attends the physically disabled resource unit at her Thatcham school, accompanied by a nurse each day, had undergone a tracheotomy.
“It means she has to be monitored 24 hours a day to ensure her airway is working okay,” she said.
“We have had people coming up to speak to Holly in the street to congratulate her on doing something for others.”
The appeal was started by Holly as a thank-you to the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service for the help it gives to her family, which includes respite care from Alexander nurses.
Holly said: “I count the days till my nurse is coming back. We have a great time, cooking and playing.
“I want other children to be able to have this too.”
The chief executive of Alexander Devine, Fiona Devine, said the charity was “incredibly proud” of Holly.
She said: “I would urge everyone to get behind her campaign and support her in the form of Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts and Twitter followers. Let’s make this viral for Holly.”
The Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service provides care, help and support for the children of Berkshire and their families and surrounding counties.
To donate £1 online to Holly’s appeal, visit www.bt.com/hug holly
Alternatively text HUG to 70100 to donate £1 to send Holly a hug, or text HUG to 70700 to donate £5 to send Holly five hugs (standard network charges apply).
Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service (Charity No. 118947) will receive your donation.
Please note that in addition to the £1 or £5 donation, you will incur your standard network charge for sending a message (this will vary based on your service provider rates).