21 Jul 2015

A million hugs for Holly

Holly George

A life-limiting condition didn’t stop Holly George from coming up with a fundraising brainwave.

Holly, 13, who was born with Di-George syndrome, a chromosome disorder, has started a campaign called A Million Hugs for Holly to help raise £1m needed to build the first children’s hospice in Berkshire.

The new hospice means many more children will be able to receive vital care and help.

Holly is asking people to ‘click and hug’ using social media by sharing her Facebook page and Twitter account, @hugsforholly, hashtag #HugsforHolly

“Think of £1 as a hug for a child with a life-limiting condition, a hug to bring a smile, a hug to let them know they are safe,” says Holly.

The Newbury teenager’s bright idea came about all because she wanted to say thank you for the help she receives from the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, which is building the new hospice.

The charity provides one of its Alexander nurses to give her respite at home. This means her mum and dad get a break from caring for her and she gets to have fun with her siblings.

Holly says of the care she receives from Alexander Devine: “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.”

And so far, her campaign has lit up social media, with more than £8,000 raised since early July.

Very proud family

Holly underwent a tracheostomy when she was a baby. Her condition means she needs medical attention around the clock. And because her condition is not predictable, Holly goes to school with a nurse each day.

Holly’s mum, Sue George, says: “She has to be monitored 24 hours a day to make sure her airway is working okay. “Her condition means that exercise is very tiring for her and so she wanted to think of something she could do that might work.” “She loves computers so this was her idea. By sending her message out by social media, Holly hopes to be able to get as many people donating as possible.” Sue adds that Holly’s family, were “very proud of her wanting to say thanks in this way".

Help every step of the way

Explaining why her family decided to fundraise with BT MyDonate, Sue says:

“There was only one site to use in our view. MyDonate is easy to use, the page set up is not difficult and with clear help pages you get a lovely finished page.

“The other major benefit is that there is no charge for using MyDonate. Unlike many of the other fundraising sites they don’t take any commission from the donations made which is really important when you want to raise as much money as possible.”

Adds Sue: “The MyDonate team have been marvellous and helped us every step of the way, going above and beyond what you could possibly expect. They want you to succeed and do everything they can to help you. You also have access to reports which let you track your donations. We would highly recommend MyDonate to anyone fundraising." 

Help make Holly’s dream come true

Fiona Devine, CEO co-founder of Alexander Devine says: “We are incredibly proud of Holly here at Alexander Devine, it’s always extra special when our amazing children raise funds for other children using the service just like them. Holly is a true inspiration and I have no doubt she will make great things happen. A fantastic fundraising concept - everyone needs a hug, it lets everyone know how much you care.

“I would urge everyone to get behind her campaign and support in the form of Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts and Twitter followers. Let’s make this viral for Holly." 

Wrap your arms around a Hug for Holly by giving with MyDonate

Find out more about Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service


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