An anonymous benefactor donated £2,500 to the family of a four-year-old boy left blind by an inoperable brain tumour just hours after an appeal by the Kent and Sussex Courier.
The Tunbridge Wells-based weekly launched the campaign on its front page on 18 May when it asked readers to donate money toward buying a braille machine for Malachi Tyler, who lives in the town and starts school in September.
Malachi’s family came forward after learning that one machine costs £2,500, but within hours of the paper hitting the shelves the entire amount was donated by one anonymous benefactor.
The benefactor, who lost her husband to a brain tumour a year ago, saw Malachi with his parents in the paper and said she could not think of a better way to spend some of her insurance money.
More cheques continued to pour in as Malachi’s story struck a chord with readers – and on 21 May another anonymous donor pledged the full amount after being moved by the story.
In total, £6,110 was raised in less than a week – meaning Malachi can have a braille machine both at home and at his new school, with extra funds going towards sensory toys and equipment.
When she heard of the first benefactor giving the full amount, Malachi’s mum told the paper: ‘I just can’t believe that somebody would do that for my child.”
The Courier devoted this week’s front page to a follow-up story.
Ian Read, the editor of the Northcliffe-owned weekly, said: ‘This moving story really resonated with our readers – and touched us all.
‘We were determined to do the best job possible for Malachi and his family, who, despite their unthinkable situation, have remained inspirationally positive.
‘The generosity shown will make a genuine difference to Malachi’s life and, as his local paper, we’re proud to have been able to help make that difference.’