Film proceeds help Noah
ONE family’s quest to raise funds for a special needs assistance dog has been met with support from generous film promoters.
Natasha and Shane Wheeler created a Givealittle page to help raise $20,000 to provide their autistic son Noah with a trained companion.
Two months on the Howick family has received more than $6000 in donations and is set to be the beneficiary of an internationally acclaimed movie screening.
Maree Neal, event organiser of the New Zealand premiere of Song Of the New Earth, a documentary about US sound specialist Tom Kenyon, says the screening provides the perfect opportunity to help the family.
‘‘When I received an email about the Wheeler’s fundraiser I had a gut reaction that there was something I could do to help,’’ Neal says.
She hopes to raise about $1000 from the screening, with about 70 per cent of proceeds going to Noah’s cause.
‘‘I ask Aucklanders to open their hearts and wallets and come to the event and support Noah,’’ she says.
Noah’s mother Natasha has been amazed at the support they have received and is keeping positive that they can reach the $20,000 target.
‘‘The world is full of such special people and so many people I don’t even know have come forward to help,’’ she says.
has severe autism spectrum disorder and global development delay which affects his speech and understanding of words, literal thinking and social interactions.
The family is in need of an assistance dog to help lower the risks associated with the disorders.
Assistance Dogs New Zealand founder Julie Hancox says the $20,000 goes towards the raising and training of the dog.
‘‘We do an in-depth assessment on the individual’s needs and decide on training from the family’s ideas and our own assessment,’’ Hancox says. ‘‘The assistance dog for Noah will be selected on the criteria that it is good with children and is calm. The main factor will be tethering the dog to Noah to keep him safe.’’
Noah’s dog will be chosen from a litter of pups that are currently nine months old and will undergo six months training.
Hancox says one of the biggest bonuses of owning an assistance dog is they are granted full public access rights under New Zealand law.
Noah Wheeler’s family is trying to raise $20,000 to get him a special needs assistance dog.