One Direction star Louis Tomlinson is well-known as a singer, and his accomplishments in his chosen field are well documented. It could be argued that Tomlinson is almost as well-known for his love of soccer. At one point, Louis even tried to buy his hometown club, the Doncaster Rovers. What is less known is Tomlinson’s incredible efforts on behalf of charities. Louis comes from a large and loving family, and amongst One Direction fans, his love of children is well-known. Outside of the One Direction fandom, Tomlinson’s efforts on behalf of Children’s charities are perhaps overlooked by a media seemingly content to report the negative where possible.
It seems barely credible that a whole year has passed since Louis and bandmate Liam Payne hosted a Cinderella Ball at London’s Natural History Museum. At that time, the Daily Mirror offered Tomlinson some rare praise when they revealed that Louis had donated a reported $3 million to the charity which raises funds to support seriously ill children and their families. The Daily Mail even got in on the act, reporting that Liam Payne showed that Louis is not the only generous member of One Direction. Liam reportedly paid an incredible $75,000 to have his face painted as a tiger.
MTV were somewhat more thorough in their portrayal of the Cinderella Ball, and their piece reflected the most magical moments from across the evening. Of course, cynics will happily write off Tomlinson’s generosity as the largesse and frivolity of a very wealthy young man, but the truth is much harder to uncover. To understand the real generosity of Tomlinson’s spirit, you have to see his charitable efforts through the eyes of those most directly affected.
Back in January of this year, Sarah Hext spoke to the Inquisitr about the effect Louis and his mother, Johannah Deakin, have had on her family. Sarah was speaking just weeks after her family lost little Harvey Hext to childhood cancer neuroblastoma, and she decided to speak out because she was sick of the negative reporting that Louis was being subjected to day after day.
Sarah revealed that her family had been invited to the Cinderella Ball by Louis, who arranged for the whole family to stay at Langham’s, one of London’s poshest hotels. On arrival, Louis had arranged for Harvey and his twin brother, Spencer, to be kitted out in Ralph Lauren suits, whilst big sister Olivia was treated to a made-to-measure silk dress.
Sarah described the evening as “breathtaking,” and told us that Louis and Liam spent time with every single child at the party. Tomlinson’s support for the Hext family didn’t end there — he arranged for a group of Believe In Magic families to spend some time at Disneyland Paris, and Louis even joined the families during their trip.
Louis later invited Sarah and her whole family to attend a One Direction concert in London, and Sarah revealed just how incredibly thoughtful Tomlinson is. During the journey to London, Sarah sent Louis’ mom a video clip of Harvey and Spencer singing One Direction’s “Best Song Ever,” by the time they arrived in London, Louis had arranged for gifts of microphones to be placed on the boys pillows whilst big sister Olivia was presented with a package of “girly gifts.”
The truth is that through his thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit, Tomlinson gave a gift to the Hext family that no amount of money could ever buy. Louis and his mother helped to make the last months of a little boy’s precious life very special. Tomlinson gave the Hext family precious memories, memories that have helped to sustain them through the toughest of times. No words could ever describe the value of those memories, but Sarah’s words convey her gratitude to Louis and to Johannah Deakin [Jay].
“Louis and Jay have given us precious memories with Harvey and all of our children and that is priceless, we have so many beautiful photos of Harvey to look back on in some amazing places!
“People don’t know the real Louis, Jay has told me that when Louis suffers a bad press day he says to her ‘come on mum, let’s make someone happy today.’ That’s the kind of man Louis is. Louis Tomlinson is very grounded, he is family orientated and both Louis and Jay hold a very special place in my family’s hearts.”
Through her loss Sarah Hext has found strength and inspiration and launched her own charity in little Harvey’s honor. A Siblings Wish is a charity that supports bereaved siblings by supplying personalised memory boxes enabling children to retain treasured memories of a lost sibling.
It should surprise no-one that Tomlinson continues to support the Hext family both by helping to raise awareness of A Siblings Wish and by supplying computer equipment to help the charity to conduct its business.
One of the wonderful things about Tomlinson’s generosity is that Louis, and indeed the rest of One Direction, have inspired the One Direction fanbase to support charities dear to their hearts. It is clear that A Siblings Wish is grateful for donations from One Direction fans but the ability of fans to raise awareness of the charity is also very welcome.
Louis Tomlinson and One Direction may be enjoying a hiatus at the moment, but it is clear that the fandom never sleeps. Tomlinson will, of course, always be revered as a member of One Direction, but the impact that Louis has had on Harvey Hext’s family and other families like his can only be described as humbling. Tomlinson’s charitable work may be under the radar, but it is all the more creditable for that.
[Photo by Sarah Hext]