While Christmas is not widely celebrated in this predominantly Buddhist country, it is the time of goodwill to all. One such shining example is the United Charities of the Eastern Seaboard, or UCES.
Rotarians Peter Thorand and Don MacLean with El Shaddi School kids.
UCES is a group formed from many of the major charities so that they do not duplicate their individual efforts. The steering group is comprised of members from Rotary Pattaya, YWCA Pattaya, Pattaya Sports Club, Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC), the Jomtien - Pattaya Rotary, the Lions Club, and the Rayong Ladies Circle.
A spokesman for the students of the Blind School on behalf of all the students says thanks to YWCA president Premrudee Jitthivuthikan and all the benevolent members of the UCES.
This Xmas the UCES collected around 200,000 baht, plus goods from Lotus and Tops supermarkets to distribute as gifts to 850 disadvantaged children in nine different centres here. This effort does just not happen overnight and takes months of preparation. Many functions and fundraising events were necessary to raise the funds from the UCES community. For example, 60,000 baht was donated privately by Mr. Jo Gartner; 50,000 baht by the Pattaya Sports Club; 50,000 by the PILC; 20,000 by the YWCA; 5,000 baht by the Lions; 5,000 baht by the Rayong Ladies Circle; 5,000 baht by the Rotary Pattaya and 2,000 baht by the Jomtien - Pattaya Rotary Club.
It’s as much fun to give as it is to receive.
But the hard work did not end there. Premrudee Jitthivuthikan, the president of the YWCA took it upon herself to collect, purchase and wrap all the gifts. And you thought Santa’s little helpers had it tough!
Look what I got!
For the hard working members, from all these charities, to play Santa over Christmas and distribute the gifts even required specially hired busses. But for them all it was worth it, to see the 850 happy recipients. These included children from the Redemptorist School, the Bang Saen Deaf School, the Fay Jay Day Care Centre Pattaya, the Drug Rehabilitation Centre, the Blind School, the El Shaddi School, the Huey Pong School, the Camillian Centre, the Street Kids Boys Home and the Ban Krua Children’s Home.
All in all, the generous donations and the smiling faces of these children rewarded everyone’s time and the planning required. Thanks to the entire Pattaya community who supported this valuable effort by the UCES to show the real spirit of goodwill.
Copyright 2001 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.