The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly sparked some creativity and innovation this year around the world. This is especially the case for Michael Stanley, an 80-year-old retired British army major living in the UK.
Stanley, formerly known as “Major Mick,” served in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for 35 years. He decided to do something unique when places started shutting down due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Instead of staying cooped up inside, Stanley built a home-made fishing boat. Not only that, but he also embarked on a quest to row his fishing boat 100 miles to benefit St. Wilfrid’s Hospice in Bosham, UK.
The tiny but mighty boat, cleverly named “Tintanic,” was constructed using two sheets of corrugated iron, curtain hooks, and hosepipe. Stanley says he got the idea for creating the boat from a recent visit to India, where he saw many children using these types of fishing boats as they floated down the river. Now he’s floating to help those in need!
Stanley’s rowing mission was inspired by another charitable veteran, 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore, who served as a British army officer during World War II. Moore raised almost $43 million for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) charities by walking 100 laps around his home garden before his 100th birthday.
Both Stanley and Moore have surpassed their original fundraising goals in monumental amounts. Stanley has raised over $15,000, which is $14,000 more than he expected. He has also received incredible support from the public, receiving countless encouraging words from passersby and extensive news coverage.
Stanley continues to row his handmade boat along the Chichester Canal in West Sussex, UK, until he reaches his 100-mile goal. His generosity and ambition have certainly inspired many donations and brought a sense of hope and positivity to many people in the midst of these challenging times.