Gabriel Clark, a 12-year-old boy from Cumbria, England enjoys a relatively unique hobby in the form of woodworking.
One fine day, the kid came home with sadness on his face. He then told his dad, Richard Clark, that he was indeed a “bit down.”
According to him, his friends said that his woodworking hobby wasn’t cool. And the fact that he only had six Instagram followers weren’t helping.
Gabriel’s love for the craft goes way back to when he was around three to four years old. His mother, Teresa McCann Clark, handed him a hammer owned by his grandfather and he hasn’t looked back since.
“I’ve always had a real passion for it, and I’ve just taught myself everything I know,” the boy shared with People.
Just like any father would feel, this disappointed Richard. It was upsetting for him to watch his beloved son fight his way to fit in.
Because of this, Richard turned to Twitter in an attempt to help his son.
On March 25, the supportive father tweeted, “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. 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!”
Initially hoping to get just about 60 followers, the Clark family wasn’t ready for what was about to come their way. Today, Gabriel has a whopping 259,000+ Instagram followers to his name!
“I asked dad if he could put something out on his Instagram or Twitter. He put out a bit of a tweet saying, ‘My son’s a little bit sad. Can you go support him by following his Instagram?’ And instantly, it completely blew up,” the talented kid fondly shared.
On top of the followers flocking in, he received about 20,000 orders for his handmade bowls! Isn’t that insane?
However, it would take the boy 32 years to finish working on all of those orders. In short, it was almost impossible, especially with all the school works he needs to do as well.
So instead of working on all those orders, he decided to pay it forward.
Gabriel ended up carving a special bowl which he did in support of Ukraine.
He produced a beechwood bowl with a blue and yellow ring, representing the colors of Ukraine’s flag.
He said, “I want to know that I can make other children’s lives better by doing a little bit of something in my own life.”
Then, the Clark family put up a Just Giving page and set the goal at £5,000 ($6,420) for Save the Children’s Ukraine appeal.
Here’s what they posted on the Just Giving page: “We are all aware of the terrible suffering that the country is currently facing and Gabriel hopes that this is a way he can pass on some of the generosity that the people have shown him, to children in much greater need.”
Fortunately, donations came in left and right. The fundraising now acquired a total donation of £254,678 from 14,153 donors.
A 12-year-old boy just raised over a quarter of a million pounds. It’s amazing!
On April 17, the draw for the Ukraine bowl was held with a donor under the name of Renuka Chapman as the winner. And since more people were still expressing their desire to donate, the fundraising was kept open for longer.
“The main thing about Gabriel, he’s got a really, really big heart,” Teresa said. “He’s talented, he’s creative, but more than anything, he’s got a big heart.”