Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holiday Greetings

Dear Friends~

It is difficult to believe that 2014 is almost over and we are getting ready to begin another year. What a year 2014 has been for us at Promise Home and Charities Within Reach (CWR)

After the record cold of December, 2013 the weather turned wonderfully beautiful for the month of January to bring in the new year. Pleasant days and cool nights, perfect weather. The children continued their studies in school and chores around the house. It was during this time, CWR came to the decision that having house parents for the children and the home was the best way to move forward with our project. So with the help and recommendations from friends, we found the perfect couple/family. CWR also decided it was time to find a better house for the home; one where the kids could run and play without having to worry about the non-stop traffic that was at the old house. 

The new house for Promise Home 

School ended for the children the first part of March and they went to their villages to spend some time with their families. I am glad they go home to be with their families for a while. It is important that they stay connected to them. All of the children returned to Promise Home in April. 

April was also Songkran festival, which is a three day traditional celebration of the New Year in Thailand. It is marked by throwing water at people to wash away the bad. It is a fun time where truck loads of people drive through the towns with barrels of water and throw it on passing cars and pedestrians. We celebrated one day outside the house tossing water on every passing vehicle and scooter. What a great day that was. March and April is when the weather starts to turn very warm, so the cool/cold water was very refreshing. 

In mid April a group of 11 women traveled to Chiang Rai to visit and help with the move to the new home. They were able to meet Big and Fon, the house parents and they gave their unconditional approval for the couple. So, one very hot day, we packed the house and moved to the new location. I had asked for some help from our friends, wanting one more truck and few able bodies and they delivered. We got two more trucks and a car and many, many able bodies. We loaded everything up and made one trip to the new home. Once we got there, our friend Supannee took over and directed where furniture should be put and had her girls help with the cleaning. The help came from our partners at Bethany Children's Home and we are so grateful for them. They have been and continue to be a wonderful partner for CWR and Promise Home. 

In May, the children went back to school and it was an exciting time. Shortly after moving to the new home, we purchased a truck with a cover with a generous donation from a board member. Having the truck and cover is a necessity for them. Big could take the kids to school and on excursions without having to worry about them getting wet during the rainy season. The family at Promise Home worked hard to get the yard cleaned up and plant a garden with vegetables. Big and Fon would take the kids fishing and to the park for play. We celebrated Nittaya's 13th birthday with a barbecue and cake. 

In June, two of my nieces came to visit and they spent much time with the kids, playing games and helping with lessons. Big had a schedule of lessons that we followed every night of the week.  English four days a week and then math one night. Lessons were every evening after dinner. We would join them every night for dinner and then we would go play for thirty minutes and had lessons. 

While my nieces were there, two college aged girls came to spend two months volunteering. The two girls immediately joined in with helping with the lessons, playing with the kids, chores around the house and learning to cook Thai food. It was during this time that we took the kids to get new bicycles. We were able to get these bicycles because of the generous donations of our supporters. What a great day that was. Mom bought Nom a new bicycle as well. The pure joy on their faces was amazing. We had so much fun riding the bicycles around the neighborhood. We all took turns riding with the kids, even Mom. We had great fun. When we went on excursions, Big would load up the bikes in the back of the truck and off we would go. 

We also purchased new curtains for the lower level of the home and the children's rooms thanks to a generous donation from another board member and a dear friend and supporter of our project. The new curtains made the house look brighter and helped keep it cooler. We still need to get new curtains for Big and Fon's room and I hope that we can do that soon. The hot season in Thailand is certainly hot- we spent many days sweating in the months of June and July but that did not stop us from having fun. In July we celebrated Palita and Tins' birthdays with different dinners of their choice and cake- always have to have cake. Birthdays are important and Big and Fon made sure they are celebrated in style. 

In August, I came back to the United States knowing that the children and Promise Home were in good hands. I came back to help with fundraising and work on raising awareness of CWR's work. I Skype with the children and family every Friday night- Although we don't talk very long, we get to see each other so they know that Mom still cares. I miss them all very much. Big reports to me that all of the children are doing very well in school and their grades are improving. The children look happy and healthy every time I see them. They are so excited to see me and I them. Two weeks ago, they got to see several of the women who traveled there in April and they were so happy. 

The family celebrated Ahmorntep's birthday in September. Our good friend Ann joined them for a night on the town with hamburgers- Ahmorntep's choice. 

A group of four board members will be traveling to Chiang Rai in January for a visit. I cannot wait to see the children again and be able to spend some time with them. Although it will be a short visit, we will make the best of it. During this trip we will meet with a member of the Asian Mission Outreach Foundation. CWR will be joining the AMO Foundation so we can add more children to our home. Thai government regulations require homes that have seven or more children be a foundation and since our goal for 2015 is to add four more children to our home, joining this foundation is an important first step. We would like to find two more girls and two more boys that we can help provide a loving home environment and education for.

My dream is to be able to raise enough funds to purchase land and then build our own compound for Promise Home. Being a member of the foundation will allow us as foreigners to buy the land. It will be purchased in the name of the foundation. I envision a dorm building for the girls and one for the boys, a central area where there is the kitchen and dining/activity room and guest/volunteer houses. I would like it to be on a piece of land that is big enough for a large garden and with lots of space for the children to play. A larger facility would allow us to help so many more hill tribe children in need. Big dreams but as they say, "Go Big or Go Home." 

It has been a wonderful year for us at CWR and Promise Home. We have been able to accomplish so much thanks to the hard work of our volunteer board members and their families along with the generous donations from you, our friends and supporters. We would have not been able to continue our work without your donations, support, and love. Thank you from all of us. 

At this time of year when we celebrate family and the holidays, everyone of us at CWR and Promise Home wish you the best for the holidays and the new year. May your time be filled with joy, love and peace. 

With presents from Mom 

Till next time.....

Happy Holidays,


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