rebelling against low expectations

Charlie Simpson raises $240,000 for Haiti


The same God who fed five thousand people with one little boy’s five loaves and two fish, took the desire of a seven-year-old boy from the UK to raise £500 for the people of Haiti and turned it into much more (three hundred times more, to be exact). We hope Charlie’s story will encourage you that starting small is better than doing nothing. Whether it is raising money for Haiti, witnessing to friends at school, or volunteering to help out at church, remember that God can do great things when we make ourselves available. So, stop making excuses, and step out in faith!

Boy, 7, raises $240,000 for Haiti appeal
by Agnes Teh • CNN WorldTuesday, January 26, 2010

London, England — He’s no Wyclef Jean or George Clooney, but that hasn’t stopped seven-year-old Charlie Simpson from raising more than £150,000 ($240,000) for the Haiti earthquake.

Simpson from Fulham, west London had hoped to raise just £500 for UNICEF’s earthquake appeal by cycling eight kilometers (five miles)around a local park.

“My name is Charlie Simpson. I want to do a sponsored bike ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives,” said Simpson on his JustGiving page, a fundraising site which launched his efforts.

“I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti,” he said.

And with that simple call, messages of support flooded the site. (cont’d below)

“Such a big heart for a young boy, you’re a little star!” wrote one supporter. “Well done Charlie. A real celebrity,” said another.

More donations began pouring in after the story caught the attention of the British media — with many cheering Simpson past the £100,000 mark.

Even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is spreading the message. His “Downing Street” Twitter alias said: “Amazed by response to the great fundraising efforts of 7 yr old Charlie Simpson for the people of Haiti.”

David Bull, UNICEF’s UK executive director described Simpson’s efforts as “very bold and innovative.”

“It shows he connects with and not only understands what children his own age must be going through in Haiti,” Bull said in a press statement.

“The little seed — his idea — that he has planted has grown rapidly and his is a place well deserved in the humanitarian world.

“On behalf of the many children in Haiti, I thank Charlie for his effort.”

Money raised by Simpson will go towards UNICEF’s Haiti Earthquake Children’s Appeal which will provide water, sanitation, education, nutrition as well as support child protection.

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • Wow! Way to go Charlie! I think this is such a great story. If Charlie can do something like this at 7 with a little help from his parents…Imagine what we are capable of with God’s help!

  • That is just amazing! Every time I hear about a young person doing stuff like this, it just blows me away! Praise God!

    On the topic of Haiti, the other day I hear a story, which I found disturbing, yet many others found wonderful.

    A US news reporter was saying how the teens of Haiti have lost the most. Their siblings and even parents. So this is what the US is doing to help them:

    They are making places for the teens to stay, they said, but I call it a place to hang out. Then while they are ‘staying’ there, their parents and everyone else will be gathering building supplies and searching for people.

    And that RIGHT there is a PERFECT example of how teens are treated these day’s! Like royalty! I mean, teenagers are probably the strongest of them all. They are young and spunky, so why not get them INVOLVED?!

    So people are going to Haiti, and teaching those teenagers to be just like any other teenager these days. I think it’s crazy!

    God Bless
    In HIM

  • Wow! £153,041.45 is exactly what he has raised so far, and that number is still growing.However, UNICEF support abortion.Still, hopefully the money will be used to help children rather than to murder them.But God will get the glory anyway.

  • How convicting is this? God is so incredible, He can truly use anyone and anything for His glory. Next time I fall into the trap of thinking that we as teens can’t change the world, I’ll remember Charlie. A seven year old boy who used the resources available to him to benefit others, this is amazing!

  • Wow! This is another reminder that you don’t have to have a one-of-a-kind, extraordinary idea to make a difference! God uses the simplist things to show His power and strength. Way to go Charlie!

  • That’s so amazing! I have been wanting to do something to help but i the only thing i know that i can do is to pray for the people of Haiti. Which that is very important. I am also praying for my friend’s dad who is over in Haiti for the next 8 days.

  • That is awesome! What a statement to challenge to status quo of young people! After all, if a seven-year-old can do hard things, what should be expected from teenagers? (that’s a rhetorical question:)

  • The smaller the person the better it gets!


    Great things come in small packages. (so open the smaller presents first)

  • Wow, convicting. My friend, her church, my sister and I raised $1,000 dollars to send a well to people in a third world country and that was HARD!!!!!!!!!

  • I know the point is that a seven-year-old did a hard thing, but I wish he had given the money to someone other than UNICEF who would probably have used it in a better way. I’m sure it was someone else’s idea to give it to UNICEF.

  • Wow! Great job Charlie! 😀

    What a great example to follow! We really can’t use our age as an excuse to not do hard things!


  • Way to go Charlie!!
    I think it’s the most wonderful thing when God calls his children to do something so young. It’s amazing.

  • Way to go Charlie!!!!!!!! What an amazing example of doing hard things; it’s never too early to start!!!!

  • I loved that Alex and Brett quoted “feeding of five thousand”. Indeed, there is nothing impossible for God.
    This story is amazingly encouraging to me!! My prayer is that God will use me in His mighty way for His big purpose like He did many others.

  • It really amazes me that God will take someone like Charlie and use him to help many people. How a 7 year old child could ride a marathon like that by himself would be nearly impossible but with God’s help anything could be acomplished. Doesn’t matter how old or young you are as long as you have God on your side you know that you could anything you wanted to.

  • I think that this young man will grow up to be a world changer he definetly is ‘doing hard things’ even though he is 7 years old. I saw his story yesterday in CNN student news and i thought, “wow this kid has to be felling good right now”. and when i looked at this post I saw that the money raised by a few-thousand pounds more needless to say, I was amazed!!

  • That is so neat! God is truly amazing! One of my basketball coaches always says to just give your five loaves and two fish, all that you have to God, and HE will reward you for your service to Him. This is truly an inspiring story!

  • The earthquake in Haiti truly is a sad thing, but what this boy has done is outstanding! The OPC(my churches denomination) is sending out teams at the end of this week to go help build the country back up & minister to the people down there. God is using this tragedy for the good of thoughs He loves(Genesis 50:20). Keep praying faithfully!

  • Charlie is so inspiring! What a fantastic project. God bless him for his willingness at seven to do what many seventeen-year-olds would not do.

  • Thank You Lord! For giving one little boy a heart of a million!
    I’m ready to help! I’ve been trying to think up some way to get something started for the People of Haiti, I just don’t know how you would go about getting the money to them and used for them.
    How would i do this???

  • good for him go Charlie!! he is so inspiring! he ha a huge heart to do that I wish I could help like that. by giving money in school and praying for those people 🙂

  • Amanda: you can help out by donating towards Compassion Int., The Water Project, and other christian orgs that are down in Haiti.

    I started an organization this summer to build wells in Africa and India through Compassion and The Water Project. Our first well was finished this month in Sudan. Everybody wants something to change in this world…but what we don’t realize is that we need to be the first to act and be that change we want to see!

    thanks again for sharing this Alex and Brett. I bet this will inspire more teens to make a difference!

  • WoW!!

    It’s inspiring to me how charlie started with something ‘simple’. he knew he could ride his bike, and raise money that way. He definitely made himself available and look how much of a respond there was!!

    Sometimes just getting started, (actually getting up and doing something) is the hardest part. WAY TO GO CHARLIE!!

  • God is really using people to reach out to the people of not only Haiti, but the entire world. a couple of my friends have asked me (or told me) how can i believe there is a God when something like this happens? I can reply using just a few verses and the obvious he needs to test us sometimes, and give us an opportunity. A friend at my sister’s high school went on a mission trip to Haiti last summer and his senior project was to send $1,000 to help (set the goal last year!). He recived the money before he even started his project! We’re praying for Haiti!

  • Amanda: Some of my friends from church and I are doing a charity concert for Haiti. I’m not exactly sure what we’ll be doing but it’s a good idea (i think).

  • How awesome 🙂

    For others wondering how to help out in Haiti, another project idea is The We Love You Project. My friend Mike is working with them to help rescue children who will be sold in the sex trade. He has also been involved in their projects to alleviate pressure on persecuted Turkish pastors. Check it out at They sell t-shirts, and 100% of the proceeds go to relief funding.

  • Way to go! What sickens me most is that when I was at chior practice a week ago, all anyone talked about was how hot the room was, how they all wanted to get home, and the latest movies. I flet like standing up and screaming “Don’t you even care that there are thousands of people who are fighting for their mere existance at this very moment and all you can do is talk jonas brothers!!!!!” I think that this is one of the best opprotunities that the church has had for outreach in a long time. We should take advatage of it to save lives and souls.

    ~to much Dickens~
    age 16

  • I am astounded. What a big heart for such a little boy. After what happened in Haiti- I felt so desperately helpless. I longed to help- but what can a teenaged girl do? Our God is an amazing God at opening the doors to do hard thing, amazing things, and even simple things that add up to the awe inspiring!

  • I think Charlie’s compassion and eagerness is amazing. He really is an inspiration. He is a perfect example of what everybody should be doing, God’s work. Keep it up Charlie.

  • I totally agree with you, Rachel Danielle! There is a strong desire to help them… somehow, but it just seems so impossible and useless for a teenager to be able to do anything! Think about how many people are out there… how could something I do help them?? I can’t fly there, I don’t know anyone who lives there… the only way I am up-to-date on it is by watching CNN. I wish there were some way I could help! This little boy inspires me deeply… he’s so sweet, and something like that is precious. Thank the Lord for pure, sincere little boys who want to do something genuinely good! Let us all learn from him, Lord, and forget the doubts that creep into our mind. He was able to raise so much money to help, because he honestly believed he could, and he didn’t worry about the size of the catastrophe or wonder if it might not help at all… he just did it. Let’s all be more like him!

  • This is awesome! I think that Charlie really shows us how we can step out of our comfort zone, and seek out support through strength in numbers.

  • Wow! My sister is seven! That is an amazing thing for someone that age. If a seven-year-old can do it, I think we can.

  • How inspiring and encouraging! If a seven-year-old can do it then we definitely can! God’s pressed on my heart lately to serve Him in any way He wants. If we’re open to His will, He can and will use us greatly. We just need to be ready and open to Him.

  • That is so wonderful! Faith like a child. If only we would put back on our child-like faith more often. God does so much through the obedient. Incredible story.

  • I think this is awesome. I had heard about it on the radio. Then I came and saw it here. There is more details here not to mention the video.

  • For anyone else wanting to help out in Haiti:
    I meant to mention this. This is the BEST way to help out. Pray about it!!
    You can get involved other ways, but make sure you pray as much as you can!

  • This is amazing. If God can use a seven-year-old, then He can certainly use me. Use me for your glory, God! And bless Charlie, too.
    About the need in Haiti, me, my sister, and my friend are collecting jeans through our “organization”, but we are not quite sure on how to get them there once we get enough. Prayer and suggestions would be great!
    May we let God perform His perfect will in us, and be totally resigned to following His leading no matter the cost!
    Isaiah 12:2
    luke 11:17 stay united and be of one accord!!:)

  • Great job to every one else as well, who is doing things for Haiti. I know they can definitely use that help; not to mention our prayers!

  • I also know how you feel Rachel Danielle! I feel the desire to help, but don’t know what I can do. I want to PRAY and ACT. What can we, – like minded rebelutionaries, do together? Is there anything we can do???

  • Another great example of using children to do his work! This is exactly what my parents are teaching in our Children’s Church classes! That they can do anything in the Lord no matter how big it is. Keep it going Charlie!!!! 😀

  • Holy smoke! 240k?? You go, kid!
    Right in there with Lynn and Amanda. Anybody have any brilliant ideas? I’d love to help out! I’ll try to rack my own brains as well… back to the classic school fundraiser?

  • Elizabeth Kelley,
    I don’t know. (sigh). I feel bad just sending money. I’d rather send my time. But I can’t really do that. You know, Haiti; it’s hundreds if not thousands of miles away. How can we help? Put together an emergency response team, send supplies, send money, go ourselves??


  • WOW!!!!! it is such a blessing to see this type of stuff happenning with someone that isn’t even a teen yet, Charlie thanks for being a example!

  • This definitely shows that God and can work through anyone regardless of whether they are 7 or 17. Way to go Charlie keep up the good work!!!

  • Hi, i,m writing a school article about Charlie i’m calling it “U Dont Have To Be Older To Be A Hero” thanx for inspiring me Charlie !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! U rock keepit up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i was thinkin of havin my own fundraser for haiti/chille !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i wish 2 c u there but i live in california usa well ur 1 big inspiration

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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →