A friend of mine for many years, Judy Allen (some of you who've worked the western suburbs of Chicagoland for a number of years might remember her as Judy Anderson....and some of you might know Ian Anderson...originally here in Chicago, but now in sunny Florida...Judy is his Mom, and Ryan is his brother!) passed this along to me recently, and because I know of Ryan's amazing work, I just had to pass it along to you as well.
This is a young fellow who began about a decade on a "personal journey"... deciding to do what many of us have thought would be fun and exciting (though most of us never take the first step beyond just "thinking" about it) and decided to travel the world. At first the journey was just about the "personal" part...seeing, experiencing, learning, growing, etc. However, years have passed, the traveling continues, but Ryan has made so much more of this adventure. He's taken it upon himself to really make a difference...to make life better for children in need in some of the farthest reaches of our world.
THIS WAS FROM JUDY'S NOTE TO ME...........
My son Ryan will be going off to Asia again this Saturday. I am sending everyone an update on his wonderful volunteer work he does overseas. This year he is going to Burma to build an Orphanage for children effected from the cyclone that struck earlier this year. This is a devastated area of the world with over 100,000 people killed and desperately needs our help. He will be joining forces with 2 other people in hopes to raise enough for this project. To read more about it I have attached his letter.
I know money is a challenge for all of us. I do believe through Gods Grace his work will be blessed with what ever people can donate. I also ask for prayers for his work.
LETTER FROM RYAN>>>>>
As you may or may not know, I am once again venturing off for my eighth annual winter to South East Asia. When I started, my trips were intended to be leisurely focused, with my activities moving from country to country, backpacking and budget traveling. Four years ago that changed when I volunteered onsite for 6 weeks in Katmandu Nepal at Himali Orphanage through an organization called Global Volunteer Network. I was able to conduct a fundraiser in Chicago before I left and through the generosity of others raised approximately $3000 to help rebuild the orphanage and get the children necessities that they have been lacking their whole lives. It made a big impact on me that a relatively small amount of money purchased an amazing amount of aid for these poor Nepalese kids. Three winters ago, I was initially challenged with opening AndoLoco, my restaurant and bar in Thailand. Now that the restaurant is fully operational and I can get back to more rewarding work: helping orphaned children in third world countries.
Early last year, with the generous help of an attorney Marcel Yonan, my charity began the process of becoming a tax deductible non for profit charitable foundation named Hands on Helping. We sent out a letter similar to this in addition to hosting a fundraising party. The fundraising party was a great success and raised over $4000. Combined with the funds raised from the donation request letter, this small charity totaled $7,000 in 2007. This money focused on 3 different orphanages located in Phnom Penh Cambodia. My thanks to all of you who donated last year and I can report to you great results of what your contributions provided to the orphans of Cambodia. During my trip you can read about my day to day activities and thoughts online at this blog site, great photos also http://andoloco.wordpress.com/
It is difficult to list all the goods we provided to the orphans. All money raised by Hands on Helping, however, is spent on specific items needed by the children and the orphanage. There is no cash handed out to a bureaucracy or government official. Some of the larger purchases from last year's donations included:
- Delivering over 700 pounds of rice, vitamins and first aid supplies.
- Outfitting one new orphanage with an extensive one year medical supply kit and refilling two other orphanage's medicine kits from last year ($670).
- Purchased and delivered 3 sewing machines, car batteries for electric power, water filtration systems, shelving units, countless mosquito nets, pillows, bed mats, blankets, school uniforms, shoes, school bags, various school supplies, kitchen supplies, carts to carry water from the well, kitchen supplies.
- Retrofitted 4 wood burning kitchens into clean gas setups purchasing all needed burners, gas tanks etc.
- Paid tuition for one older orphan to attend his first year of college.
- Continued to pay salary of Namee my English teacher/manager/translator of Peace orphanage. He is my right hand man of all my Cambodian operations. ($150 month)
- Took 55 children from Chey Prach Kuma orphanage on a field trip out of town to the zoo.
- Visited the municipal garbage dump and bought out all the food vendor's supplies so all the children working there could have a free meal.
- Took three children to see an eye doctor.
- Took over 15 children to the dentist for their first time paying for almost 10 root canals and countless extractions.
- Built walls (they only had plastic tarps!) and extended the rear area of Peace Orphanage ($500).
- Paid my taxi man Bolen for his month of hard work translating, bartering and delivering all these needed goods. ($450)
- Donated over $500 to three different orphanages for food.
- Created and posted over 100 copies of a poster suggesting travelers to come visit, donate and volunteer at one of the orphanages we work with in Phnom Phen.
These simple posters were directly responsible for bringing in hundreds of visitors from all over the world, thousands of dollars of food money and multiple volunteers, in addition to catching the attention of at least one foreign group who has pledged a few thousand dollars and now some past volunteers are paying for a few of the older children to attend the best private school in Cambodia! Now these are successful achievements! It is only a matter of time before all travel guides help cement the fact that visiting an orphanage is a must see stop when visiting Cambodia. My new focus is developing sustainable support for the many needy orphanages and getting the major tourist guide books to take notice.
I now have a website that has both a slideshow and video showing some highlights of last year's hard work. A few weeks ago I was written up on the front page of the Daily Herald for this year's fundraiser which helped another $4,000, but this is far from my goals for these kids who I can help so much for so little.
This year on October 18th I will be going to delta region of Myanmar (formerly Burma) where cyclone Nargis tore a destructive path killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless, hungry or orphaned. I am teaming up with Marc Gold of the 100 Friends Network and together we hope to build an entire new orphanage. Our goal is to raise $25,000 together and with that we hope to change the lives of 100 children who lost their parents in the cyclone. These kids have been through serious devastation and trauma, so let's get in the giving spirit a little early this year and soften this loss that will affect the rest of their lives.
While understanding that times are a little tighter right now in America, I hope that people can look beyond themselves to realize that these are children left with absolutely nothing and no one to look out for them. Last year, with only $7,000, Hands on Helping was able to take all sizes of donations and turned it into huge life changing results for some of the most unfortunate children on our planet. I would like to ask you for a suggested donation of $100, but any donation is welcome, large or small. Large donations (over $250) can be claimed tax deductible through collaboration with Marc Gold's 100 Friends. Please see below the links for how to make a large donation and get a tax deduction receipt. Please keep your own records for any donation under $250 and amounts over that amount must go through 100 Friends.
My (awesome) Mom will again manage all the donation payments. Thanks again for any generosity you can provide.
Let's embrace the power of the internet and spread the word to anyone who might want to help these orphans live a better life. Please forward this email along with a short personal header describing your relationship with me and my past accomplishments to your entire address book. This simple deed can make great things happen!
Director Hands On Helping Foundation
Please make checks out to
Hands On Helping
c/o Judy Allen
30W545 Arbor Lane
West Chicago, IL 60185
For large donations over $250
Make check out to 100 Friends
THIS IS IMPORTANT! WRITE "HANDS ON HELPING" IN THE MEMO SECTION OF THE CHECK
Mail the check to the same West Chicago address and we will forward the check after documenting it to 100 Friends and 100 Friends will issue a written tax deductible receipt
Please take a moment of your time to look at the links below!!!!.
Front page article of my work in the Daily Herald
Hands on Helping website complete with photo slideshow and video of work done in Cambodia www.handsonhelping.org
Link to see the 2004/2005 benefit accomplishments please visit www.andoloco.com/nepal
Marc Gold's charity website at www.100friends.org
My blogs from last years Cambodia work includes good photos!