12-year-old Brit raises hundreds of thousands for Ukrainian children

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


A pre-teen artisan who has gained worldwide notoriety for his woodworking skills recently used his talent to raise 250,000 pounds sterling (more than $311,000 U.S.) for Ukrainian relief.

The non-profit Save the Children confirms that Gabriel Clark, 12, of the United Kingdom, rose to fame rather quickly as more than 250,000 people answered the call when Clark’s father requested people give his son’s Instagram a follow.

“Lovely twitter people – I don’t know how many of you are also #instagram users but I’m looking for a wee [favor],” Richard R. Clark posted back in March. “I’ve a 12yr old who loves woodwork. He spends hours on his lathe making bowls and creating chopping boards which he sells to save up for a mountain bike.”

In a second tweet, he added, “So I was wondering if any of you fancied giving him a boost and following him on [Instagram] at clarkie_woodwork. It would make his day. Thanks in advance and feel free to retweet!”


Gabriel did not wind up using his mass of fans and customers to fund his mountain bike. Rather, he found a way to direct funds to Save The Children, which has undertaken a humanitarian mission to help the children of Ukraine.

“Our teams in Ukraine are responding where they can – and will continue for as long as it is safe and possible to do so,” Save the Children’s release reads.

Gabriel’s efforts garnered some prominent supporters, among them “Harry Potter” creator JK Rowling, noted atheist and actor Stephen Fry, actor Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” series), and comic actor Nick Offerman (perhaps best known as Ron Swanson on the television show “Parks and Recreation”).

Having this much attention made Gabriel’s original plan of selling multiple bowls untenable, so he opted instead to create a single handcrafted wooden bowl, one highlighted by the colors of the Ukrainian flag, that he could use as a fundraising tool.

The approach worked and then some. About 14,000 people entered a raffle to win the Ukraine bowl, which was claimed by Renuka Chapman of London.

“I’m absolutely blown away by the level of support that my bowl and I have received,” Gabriel said in a release by Save the Children. “I originally hoped to raise £5,000!”

He added, “I hope that the money can help Save the Children to provide more support to kids who’ve been impacted by the conflict with things like food, water and a safe place to sleep.”

While the raffled has since closed, Gabriel’s fundraising page remains open.