Foundation To Encourage the Potential
of Disabled Persons
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Good News Pickup Truck
Custom-made gurney presented to gunshot victim previously unable to leave home for 14 years.
On January 26th, 2008, the Foundation was presented with a new Toyota Vigo pickup truck by the Chiang Mai based Charity Rooftop Committee who had raised the funds via a series of charity dinners, an auction, and a raffle. A gala party in honor of the Foundation's 14 years of dedicated service was held at the Hillside Condo attended by well over 400 sponsors. The truck arrived complete with enclosed bed cover and will be used to deliver free wheelchairs all across north Thailand to poor and needy disabled persons living in rural and remote areas. The gala presentation was graciously donated by the owner of Hillside Condo (Khun Wachara) and was arranged with the dedicated help of Mr. Steve Yarnold and all the members of the Charity Rooftop Committee. The gift of this truck will touch and empower countless disabled lives by transforming despair into hope. We take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in this effort. Our new vehicle will also be equipped with disabled hand controls for our staff.
More Good News
The Foundation was recently presented with a container loaded with 550 Chinese-made, but American designed unassembled wheelchairs donated to us by the Free Wheelchair Mission of San Fransisco , California. These wheelchairs came equipped with safety harnesses, assembly tools, and individual tire pumps. We have already started delivering these chairs to our extensive waiting list of rural and remote area elderly stroke and heart attack victims. Many of these chairs will also be provided to refugee land mine victims living along the Thai/Burmese.
Border. At the moment, our Workshop Manager, Mr. Mongkol, is also designing adaptations to these one-size fits all chairs so that they can be used for a variety of disabilities and body sizes. Having our own complete workshop allows us to customize, adapt, alter, and adjust. Our President, Sunan Willcox invested 4 months of bureaucratic paperwork and endless telephone calls just to safely get these wheelchairs through customs, even though wheelchairs are theoretically tax exempt. Needless to say, this proved to be a learning experience!
Mr. Ian Bushell and the British Community In Thailand Fund For The Needy recently sponsored the first Chiang Mai Province NGO network meeting which was held at the Seven Fountains retreat and attended by NGO's providing humanitarian services, including disability, the abuse of women and children, HIV Aids, and work supporting minority education and orphaned children. Our foundation was called upon to lead the first workshop which focused on how to set up a legal entity under the laws of Thailand. The Foundation has also agreed to host the next meeting scheduled to be held in about 4 months.
Our newest book "A Volunteer Handbook - Getting It Right" is now available on-line for free at www.volunteer.infothai.com and was kindly edited by David Werner at Healthwrights. Finally, our free home-visit program for poor and needy rural and remote area disabled persons has now visited more than 1100 families and provided more than 720 free mobility aids and self-help books. As always, needs are great and we always appreciate your help. Once again, our special thanks to Steve Yarnold, Mary Berbae, George Scudder, Khun Wachara, the Charity Rooftop Committee and all the folks at Free Wheelchair Mission.
Sunan and Don Willcox, Coordinators
Foundation To Encourage The Potential Of Disabled Persons