The Pattaya Union of Motorcycle Clubs, or UPMC, was formed in November 2018 and since then they have been holding monthly meetings regarding various club issues, upcoming Motorcycle Club sponsored events, and general business discussions.
Then the outbreak of this devastating COVID-19 virus occurred, bringing Thailand and the world to its knees, so the UPMC did the right thing, they put their shoulder to the wheel and hatched a plan to help ease the pain and suffering of the thousands of the instantly unemployed local population, many with little to zero monetary savings, and many left homeless, due to some unscrupulous landlords who literally tossed them out on the streets.
The idea behind the Union was to ensure unity among Motorcycle Clubs and to build bridges of understanding with the authorities, local government and of course the public. This has been very successful. There are currently 19 active Motorcycle Clubs, including representatives from International Motorcycle Clubs, involved in this worthy event, but there is still room for more representation from some noticeably absent local Motorcycle Clubs.
The UPMC men and women put their heads together and decided the best way to help would be to feed the hungry and homeless victims of the shutdown.
We quickly got together enough money to buy 500 x 5-kilogram bags of good quality Thai rice, as this is what the people asked for. With this staple food, they can feed their whole family for a number of days as opposed to them getting just a single meal.
The UPMC quickly developed a working ‘coupon’ system and the various club members have been distributing these coupons to people in the well-known hard hit areas in and around the Pattaya, Jomtien, and Huay Yai.
This system works so that the food gets to the right recipients and it also acts as a bit of a safety net in order to help prevent double-dipping by people who, prior to the ‘coupon’ system, caused some of the neediest to be forced to go without any food whatsoever.
Motorcycle Clubs are known for their discipline and organizational skills as well as their proven abilities to organize such an event, the first food distribution was held over 3 weeks ago, on Thursday May 14th, and it ran perfectly.
The second food distribution was also successfully executed last Thursday, May 21st, with nearly 1,000 desperate people turning up. No one went home empty handed, due to the generosity of people showing up with crates of Mama Noodle soup, eggs, fish oil, cooking oil, and other basic, but essential food items.
On Thursday, May 28th, the UPMC held their third food distribution at the new Indoor Stadium on Soi Chaiyapruek, and the following week, on Thursday June 4th, they plan on doing their fourth food distribution at the same time and place, as the cause is growing. But the money tree is getting over-picked so we are hoping that the growing momentum in the media will be helpful in bringing this catastrophe to the forefront both here and around the world. Some people are pitching in what they can to support our endeavors, and donations are slowly coming our way on a small, but regular basis.
This article is dedicated to the Loving memory of the one and only Mr. Charlie Brechtel
The third food distribution started with this author showing up with 50 cases of iced down bottled drinking water, which was greatly appreciated by the masses of people huddled under the shade afforded by the stadium venue.
I’ve used Thailand as my base for 35+ years, in that time I’ve seen floods, droughts, the aftermath of the Tsunami of 2004, the fires in the Northern part of our beloved country, and more than one coup d’état, but I have never seen the Thai people so in need of basic support.
It’s enough to make a hard man weep.
As the mixed crowd of different Motorcycle Club members started arriving and milling about, social distancing was upheld as much as possible, but there were a lot of friends seeing friends from yesteryear and they couldn’t help but throw high-fives and hugs at each other.
At precisely 16:00 hours, the announcement was made for all those people that were holding their ‘coupons’ to line up, the handouts began. It soon became evident that there were a lot more people than available food, and those without coupons were left sitting and watching the others retrieve their bags of rice, praying that there would be enough left over for them.
The fortunate ones lined up along the clearly visible lines in order to ensure social distancing rules were observed, a temperature check was taken, hand sanitizer was applied, and the line shuffled towards one of the three trucks heavily laden with the Asian Miracle, Thai rice.
When all the rice was doled out, there still remained a substantial crowd of hopeful people, but all was not lost. The last minute donors of Mama noodles, eggs, fish sauce and cooking oil was quickly packed into plastic bags, and when the end of the line reached the trucks, it happened to coincide with the end of the food, as if it was Buddha’s plan all along to ensure all were fed.
The overall aim of the UPMC is to keep this food distribution as a weekly event until the problem rights itself and starts to go away, as right now it is simply getting worse by the day.
We will beat this scourge back into whatever hidey-hole it crept out of. We have had hard times, and will continue to suffer, but most of us will come out on the other side, even stronger.
Ways you can help: Show up before 4pm with food, water and/or funds at the new Indoor Stadium on Soi Chaiyapruek on Thursday June 4th.
Donations big or small are greatly appreciated and accepted by sending anything you can to:
Account Number: 981 – 0 – 10482 – 9
Account Name: Samran Mathis
Continue to read: Pattaya’s UPMC Heroes without Capes ride again
Continue to read: Pattaya heroes without capes, part 3