26 Jul YouTuber Emma Cruises and Hudson the Cat transform lives through Mercy Ships
A YouTuber who sold toy replicas of her popular on-screen cat has raised enough money for Mercy Ships to give life-changing reconstructive surgery to 17 children with severe burns.
Emma Le Teace, 29, from Sussex has a thriving international social media audience – with 248,000 followers on YouTube alone – as she reviews cruises for the online holiday market as Emma Cruises.
But while at home recording videos, her rescue cat Hudson became an unsuspecting star so she decided to make a plush toy version of him as ‘Captain Hudson’ and donate all profits to Mercy Ships.
She was stunned to sell 1,300 of the first version of Captain Hudson and now, after releasing a second toy for just three weeks, she is amazed to have sold another 1,848. The joint sales have resulted in Emma raising more than £27,200.
The money raised could pay for 135 patients to get their vision returned to them with cataract surgery, or could be used to sponsor an operating theatre onboard one of our hospital ships for almost a month.
“I have been blown away by the response from my audience who have raised an incredible amount of money for Mercy Ships. I’m so proud of the incredible work that all the volunteers do and I’m so happy that the cruise community has been able to help in some way. I hope that everybody who has bought a Captain Hudson toy knows just how much of a positive impact they’ve had. We will be fundraising again with version three soon and I hope to raise even more than versions one and two!”
Emma released a video to explain why she is supporting Mercy Ships with Captain Hudson toys, saying:
“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 to 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.”
“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.”
Mercy Ships UK Chief Executive Joanne Balaam said:
“Emma and her supporters are having a truly life-changing impact through raising money for Mercy Ships and increasing awareness of what we do to her hundreds of thousands of followers. We are so grateful that she chose to support us and want to extend our thanks to everyone who bought a Captain Hudson toy and are continuing to acknowledge us when they post photos of their toys on their adventures.”
Emma’s cruise channel took off in lockdown after being established in 2017.
In 2021, the maths graduate quit her data development job to devote herself fulltime to being a YouTuber and cruise writer, and work with travel agents to sell cruises she features.
Find out more about fundraising for Mercy Ships.