19 Jun YouTuber Emma Cruises and Hudson the Cat raising thousands for Mercy Ships again
A YouTuber looks set to surpass £22,300 in fundraising for Mercy Ships by selling toy replicas of her popular on-screen cat.
Emma Le Teace, 29, from Sussex has taken the online cruise holiday market by storm while reviewing cruises for her international social media audiences as Emma Cruises.
But at home, her rescue cat Hudson’s cameo appearances to her online platforms, including her 243,000 subscribers on YouTube alone, made him an unsuspecting star.
When Emma released a plush version of Hudson as ‘Captain Hudson’, she was stunned to sell 1,300 of them and raise £9,400. She decided to donate all the money to Mercy Ships as she felt a need to support our life-changing work through hospital ships.
Version two of Hudson the Cat has now also surpassed her expectations with 1,377 sales already with the three-week order window.
Emma, who has just released a video to explain why she is supporting Mercy Ships with Captain Hudson toys, said:
“I always knew I wanted to do more with my voice here. If you gave me a megaphone and said, ‘Hey Emma, speak to 250,000 people’, and we have nearly that many on YouTube, I would definitely want use my voice for something which is worthwhile. I wanted to create something that would not only raise money for Mercy Ships but bring our community together.”
“This second Captain Hudson is designed with a little yellow life jacket and a choc chip cookie in their pocket, as my followers know I love cookies and I always look for them on cruises. My followers know that by buying a Captain Hudson they are changing lives and they really like doing their part for Mercy Ships and its patients.”
With the launch of her last cat toy, Emma said:
“It’s incredible that we can totally transform a life with a surgery that is relatively simple, things that we can easily take for granted here. I find it fascinating on the ship side of things too, that you can make a hospital on a ship! I like the similarities between the new hospital ship and the ships I have been on.”
Mercy Ships’ newest purpose-built hospital ship, the Global Mercy, has elements of a ferry, as ship-makers, Stena Roro, helped blend the ferry and hospital designs together to build the 174-metre-long ship.
Mercy Ships UK Chief Executive Joanne Balaam said:
“We are so grateful Emma has chosen to support us through her Captain Hudson toy again. Not only is she raising money but her support has also seen many more people learning about Mercy Ships. Thank you, Emma, and your international followers, for all you are doing to transform lives through surgery and medical training in the world’s poorest countries.”
Emma has created more than 500 videos and has been on cruises, now travelling for work once a month. It was during the pandemic and lockdown that her cruise channel, established in 2017, really took off, with so many of us trapped at home and seeking escapism.
In 2021, the maths graduate quit her data development job to devote herself full-time to being a YouTuber and cruise writer, and work with travel agents to sell cruises she features.