Taking a Stance of Readyness
While some volunteers of the Foundation were busy planning and organising for supporters to come together to knit the Winter Hats (or Beannies), the land of Thailand faced the coming onslaught of the rainy season.
Downpours triggered by tropical storm Mujigae has caused 32 provinces to be put on alert. Residents were warned about heavy downpours , possibly cause flooding, runoff and landslides. Of the 32 provinces, 13 are in the North. In the province of Phitsanulok, where one of our volunteers reside, she was also on the lookout for any changes in the river level, because that's where the usual floods would take place.
Ever ready for an emergency, Saenchan told us, "Any time that you need help, just let me know, for I have made myself available."
Meanwhile further south of Bangkok in Ratchaburi, continuous rains caused water levels in a crocodile farm's pits to rise, and 6 baby crocodiles escaped while workers were draining excessive water into a nearby canal. 4 were caught and 2 are still at large. (as reported by the Nation)
These are some of the dangers locals face, when the rainy season bring with it the floods. On top of this, families whose members consist of the elderly or the very young, has to contend with diseases that arise from being in water all the time, or from contaminated drinking water and unhealthy and damp living conditions.
Therefore, the Foundation has to be on the alert for any help that might be needed, taking a stance of readyness , for any emergencies that we can assist the needy in.
As such, the Foundation is thankful to all donors who enable and empower us to be channels for blessings to others.
Any feedback is most welcome to aid us to serve others better.
Preparing Way Ahead of Time
Although it seemed to be yet many months before the start of the cold season in November - December, the Foundation has been preparing to engage volunteers and donors to assist in the knitting of the winter hats this year.
One morning, Tik (Manager of the Foundation) received an overseas call from Sarah of Singapore. A group of volunteers has decided to assist the Foundation by commencing knitting classes / workshops for interested persons, sometime in June. As a result, preparation for the purchase of the yarn and knitting needles were underway for the events.
The Foundation also sought the help of a local yarn firm, to sell us their less-than-perfect yarn at a reasonable price as a gesture to help the poor and the needy in Thailand.
There were lots of consultation that went on between the volunteers who were planning for the training workshops and our staff, to decide on the type, the color and the sizes of both the yarns and the knitting needles as well. These volunteers, some of whom were our overseas friends and supporters, requested some of the material to be sent over to their country so that they may use them for the workshops.
When finally all was decided, the yarn and knitting needles were then bought and a even sent overseas to our volunteers there.
The Foundation is extremely grateful for our friends, volunteers and supporters especially from Singapore, who had taken this project up, to bless the poor and needy in Thailand.
Any feedbacks / comments and fresh ideas are most welcome, to help us improve our services to those who need it most!
Love Knits Us Together
When the call for help to knit winter caps was sent out to friends, supporters and volunteers of the Foundation, the response seemed to be slow in the beginning. But as time past the momentum picked up when, by word of mouth, the news began to spread, not only in Thailand, but to countries in Asia like Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei,etc to the Pacific like Australia, New Zealand, then across the globe to the African continent, and the United Kingdom.
One person who responded was Jackie from Scotland. Together with her friends and a group of ladies back home and even her grandmother as well, she got them to knit Winter Caps for the needy children and adults. When all were done, Jackie sent the packages over to Thailand.. all nicely wrapped.
Together with hundreds of volunteer knitters, this concerted effort was a show of love and concern for those needy who were to face the cold weather, especially in the mountainous areas in Thailand, where temperature may drop to near 0 degrees celcius or less.
When time came for Jackie's knitted caps to be distributed, these were sent to the the highlands of northern Thailand. The beneficienries were the hill tribe toddlers, children and family members that were underprivileged and risked illnesses related to cold weather. The toddler from the Yao Tribe was one of those who received this knitted gift of love, who was kept warmed in the cold and
The Foundation is extremely grateful for the all the effort put in, in taking the time and the energy to knit, not just 1 but 3,500 Winter Caps, to pack them and to mail them to Thailand from all corners of the world, and not only that, for all volunteers who made the trips to the remote areas of the mountains to personally distribute these caps to the needy there, thus bringing much joy, as can be seen in the photographs attached.
We certainly welcome any feedback that can help us in our outreach to the needy.
A Knit in Time Keeps Them Warm and Fine!
As the Wintry months descend in Thailand, even Bangkok (the Capital City) that is hardly cool at all, was beginning to feel the cold. Temperatures in the Highlands of Thailand were dropping rapidly and many areas in the mountains had frost on the plants, and some even went down to -5 degress Centigrade, which was very exceptional indeed.
The Foundation for Life, which was preparing for this cold weather was glad to be of help to thousands as the Winter Caps (some nearly 3,000 of them) knitted with love from Volunteers round the world, began to be distributed amongst those needy.
The first point of distribution was to the Refugee Camp along the Burmese border. In the village where children did not have a chance to go to a proper school and where parents are too poor to provide for anything more than the bare necessities.
The children and their parents were delighted when our Volunteers went to thier village to give out the Winter Hats and some snacks,
Said a Mother carrying a toddler with a distinct hair-cut, " Thank you so much for your kindness to keep our children warm and fine in this cold season"
2 little boys, who speak little thai, could only gesture their delight as they wore their new winter hats, as our photographer took their pictures.
Another little boy grinned as he tried to say, " I love my blue cap"
Meanwhile, boxes filled with the Winter Hats were finding their way to other parts of the country, especially to the North and the North-Eastern parts of Thailand.
Infact at this moment these gifts of Warmth and Love are being distributed by Volunteers who travel to these areas and contacting the local villagers... we expect more photos to arrive in days to come....
Thanks to all Global Giving partners who have sacrificed so that others might be blessed!
May this New Year of 2015 bring you many blessings too!
Any feedback to better our services to the needy here is most welcomed.
Knitting a World Wide Tapestry of Love
When there was a global call to friends and supporters to help knit winter caps or scarfs for the needy in Thailand, at an International Conference in Perth (July 2014), a number of the volunteers, began knitting away during their spare time, . By the end of the conference, within a short span of 1 week, around 50 caps were knitted and together with another local volunteer group, 200 winter caps were collected for our Thai Volunteers to bring home.
In conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of The Girls' Brigade and The Young Men's Brigade, The Foundation for Life who is also celebrating her 10th Anniversary, sent out a call for help under the Blanket Them With Love Project. A number of 2,000 Winter Caps were targeted as a community outreach to show our care and concern for the underprivilidged in Thailand.
To date, volunteers cosisting of housewives, students, employees including people from all walks of life have already "knitted their tapestry of love" and are beginning to send them to us.
Below are some of the emails that they have sent:
We met in Perth.
At that time I asked if I could request the help of friends and colleagues in New Zealand to knit beanies for your project. I am pleased to let you know that I had a great response and I now have 80 beanies to send to you.
From: Lorna Child (New Zealand)"
Let me share how this Project has been such a blessing to my church. We have about 200 knitters & more signing up every Sunday. We did a workshop for about 20 + people & we are doing another workshop in Oct! From Sally Chew (Singapore)"
I have finished 15 caps and they are wrapped and headed for Thailand.... so it might still be 10 or so days before you get it. I have also included 6 small koala toys. Let me know when the parcel arrives. If I can get more made I will ..... From Jenny McWilliam (Melbourne, Australia)"
As of now, the Foundation has collected 637 winter caps. It just looks like with the concerted efforts of volunteers from around the world, the goal of reaching 2,000 caps is beginning to look very possible!
The Foundation would like to thank all Volunteers and Supporters who have been journeying with us all these years and welcome any feedback that would help us better our service to the community and the needy!
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