AN INSPIRATIONAL teenager has teamed up with the crowdfunding platform he used to change the lives of others, in order to thank the donors who made his campaign possible.
Sixteen-year-old Lewis Hine held his own Friend Finder Prom in June for 200 youngsters like him, who missed out on their school proms due to illness or disability.
The event was a success and now Lewis, who spends much of his life in-and-out of hospital after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, has thanked those who raised more than £15,000 via GoFundMe for the set up of the prom.
The company arranged for two donors to meet Lewis in person, and created a video all about celebrating the kindness of strangers.
The teenager, from Waterlooville, said: ‘I didn’t expect the donations to come in as quickly as they did, and it made me so happy that people were willing to give their time and money to help.
‘The event was so much more than a prom – it was a life-changing experience.’
Before the prom, Lewis set up Friend Finder in 2015 – a website which brings lonely youngsters together in the hope they forge friendships for life.
Donor to Lewis’ cause and recipient of GoFundMe’s thank-you visit, Teresa Carter Johnson, said: ‘Friend Finder is such a wonderful cause and I was really moved by the idea of putting on a prom to give young ill or disabled people the chance to experience a rite of passage they otherwise couldn’t.
‘It was lovely to meet Lewis, his energy and passion for the project is wonderful to see.’
The video also features a young disabled girl named Naomi, who said attending the prom felt like ‘a light being turned on in a dark room’.