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Boy spends 500 nights in tent to raise over $700,000 for hospice that cared for his neighbor, who died of cancer



When 11-year-old Max Woosey sat beside his dying neighbor, the boy received a very special gift from him before the neighbor breathed his last. Max’s parents had been helping the neighbor, Rick Abbott, during his finals days before he died of terminal cancer. During this time, Max was able to see a local hospice in North Devon fulfill Rick’s last wish of dying in his own home.

Later, when Max heard about how the North Devon Hospice’s fundraising efforts were getting canceled due to the pandemic, the boy decided to sleep in the tent Rick gifted him to raise about $138 (£100) for the hospice.

On the JustGiving page that he set up to raise funds, the boy wrote: “My name is Max, I am 11 years old and I am raising money for the North Devon Hospice because they looked after our friend and enabled him to pass peacefully at home with those closest to him which was his final wish. Sadly most of the fundraising is now canceled or closed due to Covid 19 so they are missing out on vital funds. I have been camping out since 29th March 2020. My friend Rick gave me his tent before he died and made me promise to have an adventure so that’s what I’m doing.

After pitching the tent in his backyard, Max began camping out in March, 2020, with his stuffed animals around him to keep him company. What the boy eventually realized was that he was onto something much bigger than what he initially imagined.

Hitting milestone after milestone, Max never stopped camping since then and crossed 100 days, then 200 days, then 300 days, and finally 450 consecutive days of camping outside. Apart from his own backyard, the UK boy has camped out at other locations including London Zoo and 10 Downing Street.

Since he began his adventure, the warm summer days turned into chilly frosty nights, and Max braved the snow, rain, and wind to camp out and raise funds for the hospice. Finally, in August, 2021, Max crossed the milestone of sleeping for 500 days in a tent and saw strangers from around the world donate $770,000 to the cause.

“It was amazing and such good fun – definitely an experience I’ll always remember,” the boy said.

It’s been “lovely and just remarkable,” the grateful boy added about all the support he has received from the corners of the globe.

Max’s mother, Rachael Woosey, also spoke and said she’s “definitely proud” of what her son has done so far.

Now that Max has slept for more than a year in the outdoors, he doesn’t plan on ditching his tent for his bedroom anytime soon. He said, “I don’t think that’s going to be done.”

Image Source – JustGiving page