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11-year-old raises thousands through chocolate

Words by Smiley Team

A creative 11-year-old has raised thousands of pounds for the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis appeal – simply by selling chocolate. 

Caleb Whitley from Crawley, West Sussex, raised over £2,000 by buying and selling chocolate he bought with the pocket money he had saved.  He wanted to do something to help families who are caught up in the conflict and had an idea to use £50 he’d saved to buy chocolate bars to sell to his neighbours.  

His mum, Rachel, got in touch with the CEO of Tesco to see what they could do to help, and the Crawley branch agreed to contribute £400 worth of chocolate for free.  

Now, Caleb has smashed his original target of £150 and multiplied his pocket money by over 40 times for the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. 

“It’s been nice that I can help people in need and who are struggling," he said. "It feels good because I didn’t expect to raise this much money. I thought I would only raise about £150 by selling the chocolate in our street, but that’s got a lot bigger. I wouldn’t be afraid to do it again, because now I can see that one person can make such a difference.” 

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This act of kindness from Caleb is a powerful message, that people can come together to make a positive difference for others.  

What started out as a chocolate sale in the street turned into a community-wide fundraising event, which Caleb has been able to take to his football club, his youth group, to church, his old primary school, his new secondary school as well as selling to his neighbour’s and friends.  

Sean Mullins, Store Manager at Tesco Crawley Extra, said: “It was really touching that an 11-year-old boy had thought about how he could help. In our store, we have a couple of colleagues that have family living in Ukraine, so it was close to our hearts.” 

He continued, “For me, this act of kindness is really moving - that a young boy would use his own pocket money to help people in need. It makes me feel proud to know that I can help Caleb to help people in Ukraine.” 

The Red Cross has reached close to one million people with life-saving aid, within Ukraine, in neighbouring countries, as well as other European countries. Support includes financial aid, food, clothing, water, first aid and psychosocial support. Here volunteers are on hand to welcome arrivals from Ukraine as they arrive, offering practical and emotional support.  

Inspired to act?

DONATE: If you would like to donate to the British Red Cross or find out more, please visit:

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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