Lorde donates $10,000 to a New Zealand family in need

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Lorde performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP
Lorde performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP

Image: Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP

Rheegan is a 10-year-old Kiwi with severe autism, living with her parents and two siblings in Auckland, New Zealand. And Lorde wants to help her. 

A leaky home is forcing Rheegan’s family to find a temporary home, and fixing their house has posed a financial threat to the family. 

This week, word of her story reached singer and fellow New Zealander Lorde, who surprised the family by joining hundreds of other generous folks in stepping up and providing some relief for the family.

Rheegan’s extended family recently set up a crowdfunding page to help her parents for damages to their home caused by a leak and to alleviate any financial burdens that come with Rhee being a high needs child. 

“Sending best wishes and love to you and your parents, Rhee,” Lorde commented with a whopping donation of $10,000. 

“They must shift the family out of their house for at least four months when it is being reclad to the tune of $260,000,” the crowdfunding description reads, which means expensive modifications to ensure Rheegan’s safety for temporary digs. She also has pica disorder, meaning she “eats anything —stuffing from nappies or pillows, blankets or coins and buttons,” and most items end up needing to be replaced, adding to the family’s costs. 

Due to health conditions, Richard Barry (Rheegan’s father) has recently lost his job making the task of affording a roof for the family even harder. Lorde’s generous boost, sent under her real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor, propelled them much closer to their goal. 

“I know her music but I’m completely stunned to know how she found it and what a freakishly small world it is,” Busch told New Zealand Herald. “There’s no personal connection so I’m very humbled that she would think of us.”

This isn’t the first time Lorde has opened up her wallet for a good cause. Earlier this year, the singer donated $20,000 to a children’s charity in New Zealand through the same crowdfunding site.

To learn more about how you can help Rheegan and her family, visit their page “Save Rhee’s Home.”

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