In anticipation of the upcoming arrival of the royal couple's first child, excited fans are supporting causes close their hearts through a virtual "baby shower"
In anticipation of the upcoming arrival of the royal couple’s first child, excited fans are supporting causes close to their hearts through a virtual “baby shower.”
Charities linked to Meghan and Prince Harry have been surprised with a flood of online donations after a fundraising effort went viral over the weekend.
#GlobalSussexBabyShower – started by Twitter user @freepeeper – began trending among supporters of the couple. The first charities picked for donations included Camfed, the Mayhew and WellChild. But it widened as others gave to organizations like Sentebale, Harry’s charity for young people in Lesotho and parts of Southern Africa, and One25, which the couple visited in Bristol in February (and Meghan wrote messages of support to street sex workers on bananas.)
At the animal shelter Mayhew, which was listed as one of Meghan’s main charities in January, they are “all absolutely flabbergasted,” says CEO Caroline Yates.
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“It was such an incredible thing to come in and see on a Monday morning. We’re so, so grateful to everyone who has shared the original post and donated to Mayhew, and are trying to thank everyone as quickly as possible!”
The campaign has raised more than $5,380 through 223 donations so far.
At Camfed, which works to alleviate poverty by getting young girls into longterm education, they received 268 donations totaling $11,710.47 – an astonishing 456 percent increase in donations compared to last month.
A spokeswoman tells PEOPLE, “It’s been an extraordinary weekend; we spent all of it on social thanking people as individually as possible.”
She added that the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which the Duchess of Sussex joined as Vice President on International Women’s Day, was providing “an incredible platform for the young women alumnae now leading the Campaign for Female Education and reaching the most excluded girls.”
“The Duchess’ call to action – to move beyond hashtags and donate to world-changing organisations – has come through loud and clear, and generated such a warm, positive and energetic movement.”
A One25 spokesperson tells PEOPLE, “We’re delighted to receive gifts as a result of the #GlobalSussexBabyShower campaign. This generous wave of support will help women on the streets know that they are loved and give them the practical things they need like socks and gloves to keep warm and an umbrella to stay dry in the rain. Huge thanks to everyone for getting involved!”
At WellChild, a longstanding charity of Harry’s which helps children who have serious illnesses, and their families and those who care for them, have had more than 100 donations totalling nearly $3,000 and they are still rolling in.
Chief Executive Chief Executive Colin Dyer said in a statement, “We have been surprised and delighted by the donations from supporters of #globalsussexbabyshower its great that an online outpouring of goodwill can lead to practical help for children with serious illness and their families. We would like to thank all who donated for their kind support.”