With the summer ending and students returning to school, Canterbury mother, Natalie Fowler, remains without a car.
The mother of two teenagers, including special needs son Jace Andrew, expressed her great appreciation for those who donated to a GoFundMe account launched by Penny Shepard, her childhood friend from the B.C. school days. Shepard now lives in Alberta.
Jace, born with autism, cerebral palsy and legally blind, welcomes a return to Canterbury High School, which he loves. Unfortunately, the summer without a family car left Jace spending most of it at home. One of his great joys is rides with his mom as they sing along to the music.
A story posted Aug. 11 by the River Valley Sun gave a temporary boost to the GoFundMe effort, but contributions fell short of what was required to purchase a dependable used car.
Natalie said the GoFundMe sits at $4,330 of the $7,000 goal established by Shepard. Additional donations dropped off to her or sent via e-transfer pushed the total contributions towards the $5,000 mark.
She said they approached some car dealerships hoping to turn the kind donations into dependable transportation, but they fell short.
"It's been hard to find anything under the $5,000 mark," she said. "I had to pass on many vehicles due to them being $1,000 or $2,000 over what I currently have."
While purchasing a good used vehicle remains just out of reach, Natalie and her boys, Jace Andrew and Jaden remain grateful for the kindness of neighbours in Canterbury and other York and Carleton County communities and new and old friends from across the country.
She said another Alberta friend, Colin Phillips, promoted the GoFundMe account on his blog, One Hungry Biker, which details his motorcycle travels across Canada. Phillips visited Natalie and her family this summer.
The GoFundMe account remains active at Fundraiser for Natalie Fowler by Penny Shepard : Special needs mom needs a safe ride! (gofundme.com)
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun