Refugee Family Flooded with Donations Following Theft of Their Car

Strangers helped raise more than $28,000 for the family, and someone even donated their car.

Brothers Mu Gay and Win Naing Soe, along with their parents Than Than Nyain and A Noung, fled persecution in their homeland of Burma where a brutal military regime reigned. They first fled to Thailand and lived in a refugee camp for 19 years before settling in Wellington, New Zealand in January 2019.

The family car was stolen from outside their home in Maupuia on Nov. 20 and was completely destroyed. The thieves left the abandoned car at an old prison, and its removal became the family’s responsibility.

Due to the family’s financial situation, they could not afford third-party insurance, so a crowdfunding page was started by Shelly Robinson, an ex-charity worker who worked in the camp where the family lived.

The page has helped raise over $28,000. What a wonderful community of people you all are,” said Robinson. “We never in our wildest dreams thought we could raise this sort of money to help the family. In a time when we are all facing our own challenges, and the fast approaching festive season you have really shown them the kiwi spirit of kindness and inclusivity and for that we thank you.”

However, Ben and Geraldine Everist donated their Mazda Premacy to the family. Insurance and a steering wheel lock where secured, too. The couple said that they were planning to sell their car, but when they saw the article, they thought it would be of more use to them. “A no brainer,” they added.

Mu Gay also received a job offer, and he will start working with a scaffolding business next week.

Through a translator, A Noung said his eldest son, Mu Gay, was dancing for joy when he learned of the strangers’ generosity. “When we learned that so many people were helping we were very surprised, I never thought people would help like that. The comments and messages from people showing empathy makes us so happy and overwhelmed,” he said.

Image source: stuff