A boy who asked Santa not to bring him any presents for Christmas and to instead give the money to a good cause has raised thousands of pounds for a Luton-based charity.
By giving up his Christmas gifts in 2017, Luke Bedford, eight, managed to raise nearly £8,000 – with more than half going to Keech Hospice Care, Bedfordshire’s children’s hospice.
Luke, from Hertfordshire, wrote the selfless note after discovering his friend Thomas’ cousin, Orla Hermitage, six, has a brain tumour.
He decided to ask Santa not to bring him any presents, so the money could go to help Orla and other seriously ill children like her.
“It was the best Christmas ever because I helped someone,” said Luke.
Luke’s mum, Tanya Bedford, 41, said the spirit of giving was alive and well in their home on Christmas Day.
Tanya said: “Luke is very proud of how much he was able to raise and is really keen to help his local hospice.”
Orla’s mum Susan Hermitage, 37, added: “Our family has been blown away by the generosity of the whole community in support of Luke’s amazing gesture. He is such a sweet boy.
“The money raised will do a huge amount to help continue funding the amazing nurses who have supported our family for the last six years.”
In total Luke raised £7,484, with more than £4,300 going to Keech Hospice Care and the remainder to another charity.
Liz Searle, the charity’s CEO, said: “We’re so grateful to Luke for everything he has done for us.
“Every penny goes towards helping us raise the £5.7million we need every year to continue providing excellent care and support for more children in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Milton Keynes and adults in Luton and south Bedfordshire.”
Via his JustGiving page, Luke raised £6,538.60 which was split in half with £3,269.30 each going to Keech Hospice Care and another charity. In addition, further fundraising in the lead up to Christmas raised an extra £945 for Keech Hospice Care.