Britain’s kindest schoolboy is raising money for charity this Christmas. “I don’t want a present, I want homeless people to be warm and have full tummies,” said eight-year-old Thomas Howley to Santa.
He stunned his parents and even reduced Santa’s “elves” to tears with his selfless request. Proud dad Gareth, 40, and mom Sian, 38, launched an online appeal with Thomas’s help and in days raised almost £1,000.
Thomas also completed a 5K fun run dressed as Father Christmas on Sunday to bolster funds for Northampton’s Hope Centre. His amazing efforts means the center can open on Christmas Day and provide homeless people with hot dinners with all the trimmings.
“I just think everyone should enjoy Christmas Day and no one should be cold or hungry. I’m really happy with all the donations. People have been very generous,” said Thomas, from Desborough, Northants.
Thomas decided to shun presents and help those less fortunate after visiting Santa at his grotto at the beginning of December.
“I’m immensely proud of Thomas. Helping homeless people is not something we’ve really promoted or pushed, it’s literally just popped into his head, he was thinking about it. He is just such a sweet little boy, to have that selflessness and think of others,” said Gareth, a software engineer.
“We’d taken him to see Santa and when he was asked what he wanted for Christmas he said ‘I don’t want a present for myself, I want all the homeless people to be warm and have a full tummy’. The elves were so moved they started crying. Santa was taken aback too and asked him again but the response was the same. Thomas was quite stubborn. We didn’t expect it. He’s at the age where you expect them to ask for a Meta Quest or something like that. We were blown away,” he added.
“My wife and I decided to help Thomas so set up an online appeal and me and him entered a 2K charity run. The response has been amazing. When the 2K race was cancelled due to the weather, Thomas wasn’t put off and we found an alternative 5K run which we did instead. He is a really sweet boy but you don’t expect a child to turn down presents,” he continued.
Thomas set himself a target of £430 which is the cost of half-a-day of service at the Hope Centre. The inspiring schoolboy even posted videos on Facebook, keeping well-wishers updated on his progress.
“Thank you everyone who has donated so far, I really appreciate it. Keep going, you’re doing brilliantly,” said Thomas in one heart-melting video.
Thomas’ school even held a ‘mufti day’ – casual clothes day – to help him reach his target. So far Thomas has raised £745 which means the homeless Centre can stay open almost all day on Christmas Day.
“Thomas picked the charity himself and he made decision himself to raise £430 to keep it open for half-a-day so people would have somewhere to be on Christmas,” said Gareth.
“Every morning he asks how much we’ve raised – he’s not viewing it as the money, he’s viewing it as how long he can keep the Centre open. I’m so proud,” he added.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”
Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.