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Winter Clothing Donations Reach Three Isolated Villages in Northern Thailand

The 2021 Children’s Winter Clothing Appeal by the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) has now been running for two weeks. Contrary to our cautious expectations, we have received a record amount of donations as of October 30. Our generous donors have supplied five truckloads of warm clothes, blankets, toys, and shoes so far. We are truly grateful for the commitment of our community. Keep up the great work!

This year, four schools have joined CMIRC’s initiative: Chiang Mai International School (CMIS), Unity Concord International School (UCIS), Lanna International School (LIST), and Chiang Mai University Demonstration School (Sathit CMU). The Interact Clubs at CMIS and UCIS even designed their flyers and stickers for their donation boxes.

Learning from previous experience, we’ve started the distribution of donations early, just a couple of days into the campaign. The timing seems perfect, as temperatures dropped to 10°C degrees last week on Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand.

Our first destination was the remote Lua village of Phou Khe in Nan Province near the Lao border. (pictured, above) It took an 18-hour drive on dangerous roads for our enthusiastic Project Champion President Dylan to deliver jackets, sweaters, and shoes exclusively donated by the students of Unity Concord International School (UCIS). A big shoutout to Interact Advisors Bill and Nicha for their help with coordinating with the Interactors!

Our second delivery was to a 300-member Palong hill tribe living on the Doi Ang Khang mountain in Nor Lea, Fang District of Chiang Mai Province, near the Myanmar border. (pictured, below) According to estimates, there are only around 2,000 Palongs in Thailand. It was 16°C when we arrived, and the locals reported that nighttime temperatures often hit zero in November, December, and January. Your much-needed warm clothing donations are being put to use right now.

President Dylan delivered the third truckload of jackets, sweaters, pants, kid shoes, and baby furniture to a 500-member Lahu hill tribe in Ban Huai Ya Sai, located in Mae Suai District of Chiang Rai Province, on the cold and dangerous Myanmar border. This load included donations from the Lanna International School Primary Campus. Well done, kids!

In the meantime, CMIRC Secretary Nick and Khun Pink stepped up and organized a private donation drive in their neighbourhood where they distributed flyers to promote the initiative and collected a sizeable amount of clothing donations in just a couple of days. Rotarian Colin constructed a reinforced “superbox” of wood as a replacement for one of our most popular outdoor donation boxes to withstand the elements better. Thank you for the help!

The way things are shaping up, we have no doubt that this will be CMIRC's best annual Children's Winter Clothing Appeal yet! We find donation boxes at Rimping Supermarkets and Makro stores to be overflowing with toys, diapers, and winter clothing items every single day.

Dear Chiang Mai residents, thank you for your generosity! To you, it might just be a sweater or a jacket but to those who receive your donation, it could mean the difference between sleeping warmly or freezing.

The Children's Winter Clothing Appeal by the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club continues to run until December 1, 2021. For more information on this project and the location of the donation drop-off points, click here.


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