Sadly, not everyone managed to finish, and there has been a flood of tributes to Claire Squires who died just a mile from the finish line. Most movingly, thousands of strangers have donated to her chosen charity, the Samaritans. At the time of posting, the total stood at a staggering £460,000, but I’ve no doubt that the donations are continuing to roll in (at some points today, the site was collecting over £5,000 every 10 minutes).
This isn’t the first time someone’s fundraising efforts have gone viral (does anyone else remember 5 year old Charlie Simpson, who collected almost quarter of a millions pounds to the Haiti relief fund back in 2010?) and it just goes to show, yet again, how incredibly powerful digital and social media can be. There is no way that 40,000 people would have donated like this, even if they had had the inclination, if they had had to send off a cheque or visit the post office – but clicking a link or sending a text is a very quick and painless way of “doing something”.
Although much maligned, ‘clicktivism’, and social media, really can sometimes be a force for good.