In a heartwarming act of kindness and dedication, a 13-year-old boy from Leeds, England has spent over a year sleeping in a tent in his garden to raise money for a charity that helps the homeless.
Billy Thompson, from Pudsey, started this unique endeavor initially to make use of the tent he received for his birthday, which his mother had complained he hadn’t been using. However, as he continued to sleep outside, Billy decided to use his efforts to support others in need.
He has since raised nearly £1,500 for Emmaus, a charity that offers continuous support to the homeless, and he plans to continue his camp-out despite the bad weather. Reflecting on his decision to sleep outside, Billy said, “If it helps someone it should be done.”
Soon, his parents suggested he could turn his efforts into a fundraiser, and Billy chose the charity Emmaus because of its continuous support for those in need. Billy has so far raised nearly £1,500 for the charity and plans to continue sleeping outside despite bad weather conditions.
Billy has a goal in mind—to break the Guinness World Record for charity camp-outs, currently held by another 13-year-old boy, Max Woosey from Braunton, Devon, who slept in a tent for three years and raised over £750,000. Billy shared, “My goal is to get to four years, about year 11, to beat him.”
Billy, who is now on his third tent, expressed that the only thing he misses about sleeping indoors is the silence. “The constantly chirping birds are the most annoying,” he remarked. But he firmly believes that sleeping outside long-term won’t impact his school work as it will become “as normal to him as sleeping in a bed”.
Billy’s father, Simon Thompson, expressed how proud he and the rest of the family were of Billy’s determination and commitment to his cause. “He sees things through to the end and that’s really important. It feels nice he’s getting recognition but we want the charity to get as many donations as it can,” Mr. Thompson said.
Although Billy’s efforts take place in the garden, Mr. Thompson jokingly pointed out that his son doesn’t live there entirely. “He doesn’t live in the garden, he still comes in for his breakfast!” he shared.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” – Hebrews 13:16