When our lovely friends Tricia and Randall told us they were signing up for an 800 kilometre bike ride through Thailand back in 2014 to raise money for the Hands Across the Water organisation, I did what any rational friend would do.
I said something really supportive, like, “Oh wow, that is AWESOME! Congratulations on committing to such a wonderful cause. You are going to rock that bike ride.”
Whilst, internally, I was saying something more along the lines of, “Are they completely nuts? I would never do something that crazy.”
Famous last thoughts.
Tricia did warn us that once you look Peter Baines in the eye, you generally do end up signing up for the Hands’ bike ride. When we were fortunate enough to share dinner with Peter later that year, I did, obviously, look him in the eye. Before long, I was having dreams about doing that darn bike ride in Thailand. We started attending some of the HATW charity events with Tricia and Randall and, now, here we are, planning to go on the ride ourselves.
Yes, Ben and I have committed to riding bicycles 800 kilometres through Thailand from 4-12 January 2017. Crazy.
We will journey with about 25 other riders on the Hands’ Northern ride, starting in the city of Nong Kai in Thailand’s north-east, and following 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, where will be able to meet the children who live there. 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 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 donating their time. You can read his story here and learn more about him by watching this video. I’m sure you’ll agree, he’s 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. And that’s where we really need your help.We would love you to make a donation, which you can do online by clicking on this link: https://www.mumma-love.com/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 donor’s 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 thank you. 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. Big thanks to Grassroots IT for sponsoring the magnets and postage.
A very big thank you to anyone who has already donated, simply based on hearing a rumour that we were taking on this bike riding challenge. We’ve heard stories of people passing the hat around at events, and kids collecting change for us in a special box on their kitchen counter. We’d also like to thank our lovely friends Tricia and Randall, who made a massive donation of $10,000 as a tribute to Nicholas. And one more shout out to my riding buddy, Lynelle, who is keeping me accountable as I work on my riding stamina.
Please spread the love and ask your friends and family to sponsor us on our crazy adventure too. We would really appreciate it.
This quote by John Lewis that we have heard Peter recite in one of his speeches often replays in my head:
“If not you, then who?
If not now, then when?”
It is our time to make positive changes in the world.
Thank you SO much for your support as we work towards this crazy adventure in January 2017. We’ll keep you posted on our training progress (and you might even see our training adventures on Instagram stories) but promise not to share too many photos of us in lycra 😉