Yeah - nah, I am not fine

Rangiora Mum Lynda-Marie answered the phone in lockdown to hear a voice ask her how she was doing.

Valyn Barrett a member of the IHC North Canterbury Association was ringing around IHC members to check on their welfare just as Lynda-Marie’s son had retreated into his bedroom distraught that he couldn’t connect to a Zoom meeting with a tutor. His computer had crashed, and he wasn’t able to make a laptop work.

Lynda-Marie said she started to tell Valyn they were fine, “then I just burst into tears because I just felt so sad for my boy. I said to Valyn about Simon’s computer dying on Good Friday.” Simon had wanted to know why she couldn’t just order one online. “I explained to him that I didn’t have the cash to do that.”

IHC North Canterbury Association Chair Kay Pearce said that in less than six hours their Committee had agreed to support the family with the purchase of a PC. “Valyn investigated the specifications, ordered and paid for it immediately to hold the order."  IHC’s local Associations provide funding at a local level to people in need thanks to the kind gifts of IHC’s donors.

“Valyn picked up on the distress in the household after a particularly upsetting day. And it went from there. The unanimous Committee decision was to proceed as quickly as possible to ease this young man’s distress. Valyn organised the purchase and delivery that night, and the supplier, PB Technologies, was very empathic and pushed it through as a priority delivery,” Kay said.

Lynda-Marie said it all happened very quickly. “It has taken a huge financial stress off my shoulders. But what has been wonderful is to see what it has done for Simon. This generosity and kindness have blown us all away. This is for Simon. It has been huge, and he really values it.”

The last thing Lynda-Marie had needed was more stress in lockdown. Simon, who she says has anxiety and meltdowns associated with Asperger’s syndrome, had been about to move to correspondence lessons when the lockdown happened. She says his computer was extremely important to him, as he struggled with friendships, and the friends he had were online.

Lynda-Marie has raised Simon, 17, on her own since he was 15 months old. The stress on the family was compounded two years ago when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had surgery followed by months of chemotherapy. She is now facing more surgery.

Kay said she can imagine the scene when Simon was unable to connect to his online learning programme. “Thankfully we were able to put a brake on the situation deteriorating further with a simple $1662 donation to this family and, just as importantly, someone else organising it for the family.”