Across the world, more than 50 countries are represented in The Sussex Squad. They include the USA, UK, Brazil, France, Sierra Leone, India, Hong Kong, Canada, Germany, the Phillipines, Croatia, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, South Africa, Jamaica, Curacao, Estonia, Italy, Portugal and many other countries.
Most members of The Sussex Squad seem to be under 40, but Deesa, an Atlanta lawyer in her 60’s, is not unique: there are retired teachers, nurses and other older individuals in the group.
Some members are businesspeople. Many are professionals – lawyers, scientists, educators, university professors, community workers, healthcare workers, political scientists, economists, etc. Some are students, some are Ph. D candidates.
In other words: educated, empowered, articulate. And devoted fans of Harry and Meghan.
Even among each other, they use their Twitter names. Names like BrenBrenchie, Mimi, Deesa, Freepeeper, Sussex Squad Podcast, Tonya, Mel, Beng, Neri, Emmy, The Tudor Chick, Magali. There are also subgroups, such as the Sussex Prayer Chain, which prays every day for the couple and their baby.
They had never done anything like the shower before.
‘Neri’, a 40 year old escrow officer from Arkansas, jumped at the chance to be part of the Global Sussex Baby Shower, “because everything about it is positive and endearing.”
Deesa, in Atlanta, thought the baby shower was “an absolutely awesome idea. Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan don’t need gifts. What better way to galvanize their supporters to do good things for their charities who in turn do good things for real people?”
Indeed, the donations were coming in so fast, staff at the named charities were inundated.
Camfed joyfully tweeted: “We are still blown away by the response to the #GlobalSussexBabyShower! We can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity.” Within days, Camfed had raised enough money to send 94 African girls to school.
Animal charity Mayhew tweeted: “We have been thrilled and delighted by the fundraising activity that’s taken place over the weekend and can’t thank everybody who has shared the #GlobalSussexBabyShower campaign and donated to Mayhew enough.”
WellChild said: “We have been surprised and delighted by the donations from supporters of #GlobalSussexBabyShower. It’s great that an online outpouring of goodwill can lead to practical help for children with serious illness and their families.”
It was the charities who notified Kensington Palace, not the organizers. They were too busy donating, tweeting, promoting the charities and managing their own emotions. The campaign runs till May 12; no-one expected this overwhelming result so early.
When Mel logged back onto Twitter, she was astonished. “I saw the support and was overwhelmed with gratitude for the wonderful women who took the idea and ran with it. I decided to dedicate as much time as I could to promoting the campaign, encouraging people participating, and helping to raise the profiles of the selected charities.”
Sussex Squad members recruited friends and relatives too.
Deesa tweeted: “My 90-year old mother is awake now and we just made her donation to Camfed!”
Other charities also benefited.
‘The Tudor Chick’ tweeted: “Just made another donation. So proud of my #SussexSquad for building something beautiful with the bricks thrown at Harry and Meghan.”
Some shifted their priorities.
‘Eliana’ planned to buy a new cell phone. Instead, “I had the screen repaired.”
‘Just Juliette’, from France, stopped shopping. ‘Fleur’, also French, says “I simply didn’t buy new clothes. I have enough, and I think educating children is more important.”
Brenda didn’t buy that ‘beautiful pair of sandals”. ‘LRSykes’ gave up “a new handbag and spring jacket”.
In Canada, Stephanie loves buying kitchen stuff, so had to overcome temptation. Her sister “bee-lined it for the kitchen section” of a store. “I literally stop and say… ‘I can’t BE in here!’ She was understandably shocked, lol.”
‘Beth’ planned to buy herself a diamond ring to symbolize a new beginning after leaving a bad marriage, but decided, “I can always buy that later. This is a much more important cause.”
And ‘Missy’, whose mother died last year, donated the money she would have spent on “spoiling” her mother on Mothering Sunday. She chose to help families “on what was my first Mothering Sunday without her.”
Neri’s remark reflects the mood in The Sussex Squad. “Being grateful for my own blessings, I couldn’t think of a better way of showing gratitude than to pay it forward. And doing this in Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry’s honour makes me very happy.”
Tomorrow: Part 3 – Painful Beginnings
29 thoughts on “A Royal Surprise, Part 2”
Reading this article made me cry tears of joy. Thank you to all of us that has paid it forward anyway possible.♥️🌺💕💕💐🙏😍
I usually can’t stand making anyone cry, but tears of joy sound perfect.
It’s nice to see the wave of giving going to people and organizations that need help. Kudos for being part of this kindness Cynthia.
Thanks, Brad. I don’t often give myself credit, but I will gladly take “being part of this kindness”.
You deserve lots of credit for your ability to connect and move people with your stories.
This is just wonderful – tears of joy – this is how we stand firm in front of the darkness!
Well said! Well said indeed.
This truly put a huge smile on my face! Thanks again for documenting this beautiful endeavor! I absolutely love this— ‘The Tudor Chick’ tweeted: “Just made another donation. So proud of my #SussexSquad for building something beautiful with the bricks thrown at Harry and Meghan.”
So lovely to get your reply, Lanyia. Glad it made you smile. Part 3 tomorrow is also interesting, for a different reason. Please tell me what you think after reading it.
I’m not on Twitter but l support what you’re doing. Its very sad how the British press treat Poc in their reports. I donated to 2 of the charities. Please keep pushing back for fairness for all human beings.
Thank you, Naana, for donating to 2 charities. This is great news indeed.
Enjoy your blog very much. I am 61 years old and live in Alabama. I am a college graduate and a woman of color. It has been a privilege to support this Global Sussex Baby Shower. I plan to continue donating!
How very lovely to hear from you, Katherine. Thank you very much for replying, and for donating too!
Thank you for a very comprehensive piece. This post is one for the history books. Good to know that you are part of this history making adventure and for helping tell the real Sussex story of how people came together for a good cause. #GlobalSussexBabyShower
Thank you, Lene. I like your reply and thank you for it.
Thinking to future days, what a wonderful story to be able to tell the new little Royal one day eg Your birth sparked an outpouring of love and generosity from all over the world.
Wow. What a wonderful thought. Being so deeply into this, it never occurred to me. Thanks very much for this perspective, my dear friend.
I am smiling, too. What a beautiful solution to the ugliness aimed at Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry.
Thanks, Laurie, always, for your kind comments, and interesting way of seeing things.
What a powerful way to show the world that social media can be positive, so many excellent charities are rewarded, and support is shown for Harry and Megan. Hope you are pleased and proud of your part in this effort. Trying (so far unsuccessfully) to reblog this.
Thank you for this kind comment! Honoured that you’d like to reblog. If the regular WP reblogging doesn’t work, just introduce the article and use the URL. If a photo doesn’t come up, you’re welcome to use one from the article!
Reblogged this on e-Quips and commented:
Cynthia Reyes has done a brilliant job of showing how social media can be a positive experience to show support for Harry and Megan as well as raise a lot of money for some of the royal couple’s favorite charities. Well done to all involved.
Thank you for reblogging. I’m honoured.
Positive people power!
I like that description.
That was the most beautiful tribute to a group of people from all over the world who were influenced by the selfless Duke & Duchess of Sussex! With Happy tears rolling down my face, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. The action taken and the positive energy generated I believe will spread and grow because we needed it💖
Thank you, Stephanie. I was pleased to produce this series.