The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club completed the collection of donations for the annual Children's Winter Clothing Appeal on December 1, 2022. The response from the public was simply incredible! In January, Immediate Past President and Project Champion Dylan Thomason remained busy delivering warm clothes, blankets, shoes, and toys to children and families living in isolated hill tribe communities, and impoverished settlements in Northern Thailand.
Since donations doubled – if not tripled – compared to last year’s, we teamed up with the Classic Car Club of Lanna and the Interact Club of the Unity Concord International School to transport your generous children’s winter clothing donations to the beneficiaries.
So far, we have delivered donations to nine remote, hard-to-access locations in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son Provinces. The recipients were hill tribes, migrants, and local villagers - people of Karen and Thai origin.
Click on the links below to view the photos and videos of the delivery trips.
We have distributed donations to:
the Karen village of Ban Sam Sob by Doi Inthanon in Tha Pla, Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai Province (621.71 kg);
Ban Bun Loe in Mae Sam Laep, Sop Moei District, Mae Hong Son Province (720.88 kg);
Ban Pu Ta, one of the hardest-to-access villages in Mae Sam Laep, Sop Moei District, in Mae Hong Son Province (517.16 kg);
the Ban Klo Se Lo School in Mae Sam Laep, Sop Moei District, Mae Hong Son Province (341.96 kg);
the Ban Sop Moei School by the River Moei, on the Myanmar border in Mae Sam Laep, Sop Moei District in Mae Hong Son Province (616.18 kg);
the Ban Kor Moo De School in Mae Sam Laep, Sop Moei District, Mae Hong Son Province (741.36 kg);
Ban Mae Khae in Mae Sam Laep, Sop Moei District, Mae Hong Son (587.24 kg);
Ban Pha Kluai Mai in Mae Ho, Mae Sariang District, Mae Hong Son Province (595.82 kg);
the Rattana Prathip Witthaya School in Ban Rai Lo, Pa Pae, Mae Sariang District, Mae Hong Son Province (605.42 kg);
We are more than grateful to our unsuspecting helpers! They had no idea what they were getting into. These trips are very tiring and require very advanced driving skills. Participants drive across rivers, navigate in river beds, and balance on the spine of mountain ridges. They go without internet and phone service and are often left without access to a toilet.
There was one truly epic journey in January. Olivier from The Classic Car Club of Lanna distributed warm clothes to Ban Pu Tha. The village has a sad history. On August 3, 2011, Ban Pu Tha was hit by a landslide, causing many people to disappear. Houses were washed away by the flood and mud that caused damage to roads, making them impassable. A total of 7 people – adults and children – died in the tragedy. The road to the village is rocky and very steep with a seven to eight-hundred-meter incline. At some point, Olivier lost control of his SUV. The car slipped and ran off the road. Olivier was alone without a phone and internet service for 5.5 hours. A tractor came to his rescue and towed him out. Fortunately, he did not suffer any injuries. He carried out his mission as planned.
The weight of the donations we have delivered so far in the 2022 season amounts to 4,726.02 kgs (10,419.09 lbs).
We cannot thank you enough for the help of our generous community, friends, and Rotarians. We are grateful for your contributions! Special thanks to the Rimping Supermarket chain, Makro, the Interact Club of Unity Concord International School, the Interact Club of Chiang Mai International School, and Lanna International School for making it possible for us to place our donation boxes on their premises. Extra credit goes to Jarus Print and C. T. S. Packaging for their impeccable service in assisting our project. We are grateful for the assistance provided by the Burma Children Medical Fund.
Kudos to our supportive friends, families, and fellow Rotarians - in no particular order: Gary Herman, Patrick Desloge, Myrna Muyana, Roger Lindley, Ken Brookens, and our dear friends who would like to remain anonymous, for participating in this gigantic community project. Congratulations to Dylan for successfully running this project for four years and for his professional driving skills!