Van donors rally to help deaf couple

By Imran Ali of the Northern Advocate -
Mita Moses and Kathy Stongman with Mark Workman, centre, react to the good news he has donated $2000 towards the cost of a replacement vehicle. Photo / Northern Advocate
Mita Moses and Kathy Stongman with Mark Workman, centre, react to the good news he has donated $2000 towards the cost of a replacement vehicle. Photo / Northern Advocate

An outpouring of public generosity has given a Northland deaf couple whose van was stolen and set alight keys to a new vehicle in less than month.

An April 25 theft had left Mita Moses and Kathy Strongman of Onerahi without transport for themselves and their four children - one of whom is also deaf - and a deaf youth they had taken into their home.

However, disability support group Tiaho Trust ran an appeal, supported by the Northern Advocate, that culminated in the couple yesterday receiving an 8-seater Toyota Estima from Allkars for $8700, discounted by the dealership.

The new vehicle was fitted with a tow bar by Auto Craft, Rothbury Insurance Brokers paid insurance premiums for a year, and Mark Workman of Pacific Homes donated $2000 cash.

Mr Moses said through an interpreter he was expecting a van next week but was shocked when Tiaho Trust chief executive Jonny Wilkinson said it would be available this week.

"It is a massive aroha from those that supported us. I don't know how to thank them," Mr Moses said.

When his Mitsubishi Delica was stolen, he thought about selling his three-seater ute but then Tiaho Trust informed him about the appeal.

"I felt ashamed to ask for help. Now we're all happy," Mr Moses said.

Mr Wilkinson said it was great to see such collaboration from the community, in such a short time.

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