Ben and I have committed to riding bicycles 800 kilometres through Thailand from 4-12 January 2017. Yep, we know that sounds a bit crazy.
The ride is a planned event with a group of about 25 cyclists to raise money for Hands Across the Water. The Hands' Northern ride (which is the one we'll be on) starts in the city of Nong Kai in Thailand’s north-east, and follows the Mekong River for seven days before heading west to Yasothon. The ride travels through villages and rural communities not often visited by foreigners. The eight-day journey ends at the Home Hug orphanage in Yasothon, outside the main centre of Ubon Ratchatani. 800 kilometres in eight days!
Ben and I are not cyclists. We don’t especially like exercising in hot weather.
But we do believe in the work that Peter Baines has started through Hands Across the Water, the organisation he founded in 2005. We love his unique approach to corporate social responsibility. He’s not just raising money and helping children in orphanages, he is building a sustainable future for the people in Thailand, helping businesses be profitable through their philanthropical endeavours, and designing life-affirming experiences for those who get involved. You can learn more about him by watching this video. I’m sure you’ll agree, Peter is a pretty inspiring individual.
We want to take on the challenge of this big ride and lead by example for Sam and Charlie so they grow up wanting to do good in the world. We want them to see us getting out and being active too. We want to ride for our gorgeous Nicholas, who we miss desperately after losing him on 2nd May this year, but who continues to inspire us each day to ‘wake up and be awesome’. He has already left a wonderful legacy in four short years, but we want to ride in his honour and continue sharing his light with the world. We also want to use this experience to focus on something positive in the wake of our incredible loss.
As well as getting our lycra on and training for the big ride, Ben and I need to raise $20,000 for Hands Across the Water by the end of December before we embark.
So we are asking for your help.
Please make a donation by clicking on this link: grassrootsit.com.au/bigride
The funds we raise contribute to food, education and a home for at-risk children of Thailand, including the original tsunami-affected children in Khao Lak, HIV-affected children in Home Hug and children at high risk of abuse. Every dollar counts and Hands has deductible gift recipient (DGR) status with the Australian Tax Office. Importantly, 100% of the sponsorship dollars you contribute goes directly to the Thai children and their community - the Hands charity does not spend any donors' money on administration.
If you make a donation over $10 before 30 September, we can post you out a little ‘Wake Up and Be Awesome’ magnet as a thankyou. If you would like one, just forward your donation receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your full name and address (including country) and we’ll pop one in the post for you.
Thank you SO much for your support as we work towards this crazy adventure in January 2017. As we have heard Peter say in one of his public speaking events, "If not you, then who? If not now, then when?" It is our time to make positive changes in the world.
We’ll keep you posted on our training progress, but promise not to share too many photos of us in lycra ;)