You Did This….and I’m So Grateful

Guys……I don’t have to tell you that this year has been a weird ride. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to our food program during the pandemic. This is where your money is going to.

What’s our goal through the COVID-19 pandemic?

To provide 52 families with groceries every week at a cost of $10 per family per week. ($2,800 a month fundraising goal) This is the goal of the school based on the families who attended last year. Because of you, Make Our Day was able to cover 10% of that cost in April and 10% (and rising!) in May.  

This is huge for a couple reasons. 

One, I couldn’t leave my house in April to go help them, buy food, or drive groceries around, so transferring the monthly donations in April meant being able to be there without being there.  

Two, the donations raised by the school come in sporadically but the groceries need to be paid for all at once when the truck is there. So, matching the timing of Make Our Days donations to coincide with the food delivery makes the entire process quicker and cleaner so we can get on with the work of actually distributing the food.

***** This is a good donating “hack” for anyone who has ever worked on a food or supply drive where items are being purchased new.  If the Non-profit is making a 1 time purchase (as opposed to a monthly expense that fluctuates) ask what day the delivery is coming and how much the bill is. Specify that your donation is to be used towards that bill on that date.  

This allows you to feel like you know exactly where your money is going and it protects the non-profit in the long run as they need to be keeping track of when and why any surges in cash donations occur*****

Where are these 52 families?

There are 4 main neighbourhoods in Ratsada and Koh Sirey, all within a few minutes of one another.  These are the same neighbourhoods that prompted me to start Make Our Day in 2014. 

Being back there everyday for the past few weeks has brought me to my knees with devastation over the persistence of the problem but also with gratitude for finally getting the case by case information I need to really be able to give a hand up and not a handout to the families who are committed to keeping their kids in school. 

Not being able to help the kids aging out of school back in 2014 is a burden I will carry with me the rest of my life but it also fuels me get into a position to be able to do more for my munchkins outside of school than throw a birthday party (although I stand by every party we’ve ever had and will continue to have…..they MATTER).

How much do we know about them?

What we are using the school registers from last year to go door to door and find everyone.  If we can’t find them, we are calling them to see if they are still in Phuket.  Once we find them we have a conversation with the Mother in the family in which we hope to find out:

Who lives in this house? (ages, relation to the family, and basic health)

Who has a passport, who doesn’t, who has overstayed?

How much is rent?

Do you have family or work in Myanmar you can return to?

Who cares for the infants and toddlers while you’re working?

Who is working and how much are they making a day / how many days can they work?

Almost 100% of our families only have job security on a daily basis as in they turn up to work every morning and see if there is work for them.  We have heard they earn from 100 – 250 baht a day around 4 days a week. ($20 a week, zero a week for most of them for more than 8 weeks now)

What happened?  Why did you come here?  Do you want to stay?

The other things we need to know in order to help, but the last question tells you everything.  People don’t care what you know until they know that you care, so until you hear someone’s story, expect that your opinion about how they should proceed with their life will fall on deaf ears.

What’s it Like?

It’s completely heartbreaking and overwhelming but……..it’s like I’m right where I need to be.

It’s like sitting on a urine stained floor in a corrugated tin shack holding hands with 3 generations of women saying, I see your struggle.  It’s like Grandmother rubbing clay on my face asking me to hold her granddaughter, saying I see your heart.

It’s like falling asleep at night because you are exhausted in a good way instead of worried.

It’s like knowing The Universe has your back and in this case, all of you donors are my universe…….seriously. 

If you or anyone you know are looking for a way to ease the suffering of our world during COVID please forward our story and our donation link.  $10 feeds a family for a week and those weeks mean a lot to me if they mean my kids are still on track to go to school instead of exploitative work or prostitution.

PS – I know this struggle is worldwide and I’m not trying to get into comparative suffering or rank this donation drive as more important or urgent that others, that’s simply not true. This is just me where I am, doing what I can with what I have.

If this is something you can and want to support, then you gonna get a lotta bang for your buck. $10 will do it (kissy face emoji, bicep flex emoji, prayer hands emoji)

Love from Munchkinland,

Teacha Katie

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Published by Make Our Day

I am originally from Missouri and currently teach English, wrangle Munchkin's, and give hugs in Southeast Asia. I planned on doing the typical backpacker thing for a year or so and moving on.......but 6 years and hundreds of munchkins later, the ride's been anything but "typical". We're still here and still making munchkins' days one hug and high five at a time. Send us a note, some love, or a donation if you're able. Love from Munchkinland, Teacha Katie.

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