‘Amazing’ strangers helped to raise the money for a new iPad that helps a little boy with cerebral palsy to communicate.
Children donated their pocket money and birthday money to the cause for five-year-old Harry, his mother Bianca Crayford explained.
After the tablet was lost on Sunday October 5, Bianca posted messages on Facebook explaining the situation.
However, on Friday October 10, Ben Willis - a man the Horsham family had never met - set up an online fundraising page, and within 48 hours the £255 needed to replace the lost iPad was raised.
Bianca said: “We are absolutely amazed. He didn’t think of checking with me, he just thought ‘I’m going to do this’.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone - we are overwhelmed and can’t believe that in such a short time, people responded in such a great way.
“There are some amazing people living in Horsham.”
The gadget was lost when Bianca’s husband John lifted Harry out of their car, putting the iPad on the roof while he carried his son inside one evening.
Without knowing the device was still on the vehicle, Bianca drove the car the following day - and only realised the mistake on her return.
The original iPad - completely smashed having been run over several times - was eventually returned to the family.
Harry, who attends Ingfield Manor School and St John’s Primary School, uses a vital app on the tablet for learning and communication.
Bianca said: “He can speak but it is very distorted, so you won’t necessarily understand it unless you get to know him.
“Children from St John’s donated their pocket money and birthday money, and some children found money in the street and said it was for Harry’s iPad.
“It moved me so much knowing there are so many lovely people around.”
The online fundraising page eventually reached a total of £362, which was more than £100 over the target and enabled the family to purchase a more advanced iPad than the lost device.
Bianca said: “People started to donate up to £20, and even people that don’t know us or Harry donated money, and kept donating after they reached the limit.”
She added that Harry is very grateful to all those who helped him.
She hopes to meet Ben in person at the Springfield Project in Horsham, after learning he has a daughter with learning difficulties.