Helping a child with autism was more important to Miranda Hall than getting wedding gifts.
Instead of asking for presents, she asked her wedding guests to donate towards getting seven-year-old autistic boy William Eiberg to camp in Canada.
"We had everything we needed so I didn’t want another six sets of wine glasses," she says.
"I just thought this is something I can do for someone."
William lives in Albany with his parents and brother Reuben, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
He was four when Mrs Hall started working with him in her role as a behaviour therapist.
Then he couldn’t speak more than a few words and found interacting
socially almost impossible.
In three years she has seen him go from living in "his own little world" to being outgoing and curious.
It is his eagerness to learn that inspired her to take him to Camp Kennebec, which caters to children who have learning disabilities.
She has been to the camp three times and seen autistic children flourish in the range of activities on offer.
There is nothing like it in New Zealand and there is no government funding for William’s $3000 camp fees and $2000 airfare.
Mrs Hall has put the $1500 she raised at her January wedding toward the cost of the trip.
She is now pursuing other fundraising options to raise the remaining $3500.
William’s mum Ingela Eiberg says Mrs Hall’s efforts for William have been hugely generous.
When she got the wedding invite and saw it asking for contributions toward William’s trip, she broke down in tears.
"We couldn’t believe that anybody would be so nice. It means the world to us. We really want William to be the best he can be."
She says going to the camp will help develop William’s independence, as he hasn’t yet spent more than a day away from home.
It will also give her much needed time off.
"We haven’t had help or support or anything. It’s always been just us, so the amount of stress has been incredible at times. It will be a good break."
For more information on William’s trip, or to donate, email email@example.com.
- North Shore Times
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