- WASHINGTON POST
Capt. Sir Tom Moore’s family is doing what they can to fill his shoes
11:28 JST, December 21, 2022
It’s been nearly two years since Capt. Sir Tom Moore died, but his daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, still gets stopped everywhere she goes.
“People feel that they know us,” said Ingram-Moore, whose father lived in her Bedfordshire home – about 50 miles north of London – for 14 years before his death in February 2021. He was 100.
Called a “pandemic hero,” Moore raised $45 million for Britain’s National Health Service by walking 100 laps around his garden. The centenarian veteran stole the hearts of people near and far – all who were desperate for a pandemic pick-me-up. They found hope in him.
Now, Moore’s family is working to keep his giving spirit alive. Last week, Ingram-Moore, alongside her husband and two children, launched a website called “A Gift of Kindness.” The goal, she said, is to serve as a message board for sharing personal stories of humanity.
The idea came to Ingram-Moore while sitting with her family around the dinner table on a recent evening. They were discussing how Moore’s fans continue to send warm wishes.
“People stop me wherever I am,” she said, adding that strangers often share their own acts of kindness, and how her father was a source of inspiration to them.
“We talk about my father’s legacy,” Ingram-Moore said, and “the gift of hope and tenacity and positivity he left in the world.”
In addition to recounting touching tales, people have told her tragic stories, too – of loss and grief and suffering.
“Recently, people have stopped and engaged me about how difficult life is at the moment,” said Ingram-Moore, citing the cost-of-living crisis, as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine and other widely experienced woes in today’s world. “It feels slightly reminiscent of lockdown.”
Since Moore is no longer around to offer a dose of optimism, Ingram-Moore is doing what she can to fill her father’s shoes.
“He would want his legacy to continue to be shared with the world,” she said, adding that she brainstormed with her family about ways to do that.
“People keep telling me these lovely kindness stories,” she said to her husband and two children, Benjie, 18, and Georgia, 14. “Maybe we can collect them.”
So that’s what she’s doing, on a public platform that is open for anyone to contribute. Its purpose is to show people that, even in dark times, “fundamental kindness is in humanity,” Ingram-Moore said. “My father really believed that; at people’s core, they’re kind.”
People around the world are proving her point. Since the website launched on Dec. 8, dozens of entries have poured in. Ingram-Moore sifts through each one and posts them herself to the site.
“This message board is a place to relate your kindness stories, to share joy and hope with others by recalling any small gift of kindness towards you, or someone you know, and how that felt,” the site description says.
It also includes Moore’s favorite saying: “Above all be kind. It doesn’t cost you a penny.”
One submission, titled “Brotherly Love,” tells the story of a grieving woman who lost her 38-year-old brother in a car accident. While on her way to collect her brother’s things at his office, she stopped to fill up her car with gas.
“I was crying uncontrollably and the very young attendant asked me if I was ok,” reads the post, which was written by someone based in Plymouth County, Mass. “He listened as I told him about my brother.”
Another entry highlights how a generous friend helped ease the financial burden faced by a U.K. family.
“My husband and I are a hard-working couple with two children,” the post reads. “With costs ever rising we have both taken additional part-time jobs. Our families don’t live near us and it can be a struggle to manage childcare and work and make ends meet.”
“A friend recognised our struggle and left groceries on my doorstep,” the writer, who identified herself as “Nicky,” continued. “My kids were so thrilled, you would have thought we had won the lottery!”
There are many more acts of kindness – large and small – written up in short posts on the site. Initially, “we thought we’d do a big push in the new year,” said Ingram-Moore, explaining that she didn’t expect so many submissions to come in so quickly.
“This has already picked up momentum. It’s traveled across the Atlantic,” she said.
The stories emphasize that “the things we do every day have a huge impact,” Ingram-Moore said.
While Moore is sorely missed, “so much of our life is dedicated to ensuring my father’s legacy lives on,” his daughter said.
“We call ourselves Team Tom.”
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