With his handmade bowl, this 12-year-old raised $325,000 for children in Ukraine
After a young boy’s carpentry project went viral, he took to his new internet following to raise money, not for himself, but for the children of Ukraine.
The power of a viral social media post never ceases to amaze. When Gabriel Clarkie’s proud father tweeted a link to his son’s hobby of carving wooden bowls and putting them up for sale on Instagram, it went viral and his Insta followers jumped from 6 to 227,000 in just 48 hours.
Lovely people on Twitter – I don’t know how many of you are too #instagram users, but I’m looking for a small favor. I have a 12 year old who loves carpentry. He spends hours on his lathe making bowls and creating cutting boards which he sells to save for a mountain bike. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/Ny60rFf1TE
—Richard R Clark 🇺🇦 (@rclarkie) March 25, 2022
Rather than respond to 20,000 requests for wooden bowls, Clarkie Woodwork announced that it would make just one bowl – Gabriel’s Bowl For Ukraine – which would be distributed in a lottery to anyone who donated to Save The Children Ukraine.
Virality struck again and a £5,000 ($6,260) appeal turned into a £250,000 ($313,000) success, with nearly 15,000 people donating. Part of the viral bump came when the call came to the attention of JK Rowling, Nick Offerman and Stephen Fry, all of whom passed it on to their unfathomable number of followers.
“I never imagined my tweet would turn into this amazing thing… Somehow it got people to donate [over] £250,000 to help children in Ukraine is simply amazing! said Richard Clarkie, Gabriel’s father.
“Gabriel’s Bowl for Ukraine now has a new home – Renuka Chapman, congratulations,” the family wrote on the fundraising page. “We are now at £245,000!! A truly amazing character and Save the Children would like me to pass on their immense gratitude.
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“When Gabriel phoned me to let me know I had won the bowl, I was completely overwhelmed – I had never won a single thing before!” wrote Renuka, according to Save The Children’s report on the event.
“This bowl will be one of my most treasured possessions. It represents hope, compassion and kindness… It will have a special place in my home.
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