The generosity of people has overwhelmed a Whangārei mum and her son who have sought public funding to raise money to replace their car that was stolen and crashed.

Twelve-year-old Rueben Leslie, who has cerebral palsy, and his Mum, Denise Pearson, left their car on Paramount Pd in Tikipunga after striking engine troubles about three weeks ago. Denise planned to go back and get the car the next day to see if it could be repaired.

However, thieves had other ideas and stole the car, crashed it into a power pole, and damaged the interior dash.

The car was towed by police for forensic testing and Denise sold it to the wreckers as it was not worth fixing.


A Givealittle page was started by Rueben's teachers at Kamo Intermediate to help raise some money to buy a replacement vehicle.

Yesterday, the total had risen to more than $5000 after a story that ran in the Northern Advocate.

"Yep I'm blown away, overwhelmed. The support has just been amazing," Denise said.

She said Rueben was equally as impressed with the generosity shown and was checking the Givealittle page every 10 minutes.

"He's real happy. He might have his physical disability but mentally he is very intelligent and confident."

Seeing the total top $5000 by yesterday meant the hunt for a car was now a serious consideration.

"I will have to start looking for what we can get. Something that we can fit stuff in the boot including a wheelchair later on," Denise said.

In the meantime, they were lucky enough to be able to borrow a vehicle from her parents to ensure Rueben made all his medical and sporting appointments and practices.


At 3pm yesterday, 110 generous donors had give $5,339 in 10 days, in donations ranging from $10 to $500.

Jack Craw donated and made the comment: "Our community cares. Arohanui."

"Hope all of these koha remind you Rueben that there are a lot of good people in the world who care about others. No doubt we will all continue to hear of your successes as you achieve your many goals," Louise said.

Shane and Sue Culham said: "We read about what happened to your car in the paper today. Hope this donation will help you reach your goal to get the car you need Rueben."