Project Update: Canadian Jackalope and Jesters give their annual donation to Camillian

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Earlier last month, organizers from the Canadian Jackalope Open and Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive convoyed to the Camillian Center in Lat Krabang near Suvarnabhumi Airport to commemorate their joint annual donation. For the last 3 years, our joint focus at the center has been covering the 24/7 care for children living with HIV and disabilities.

Our relationship with the Canucks has been a long, rewarding one. They have been Diamond Sponsors (400,000 plus donors) for our charity drive since 2008 with the agreement that their donation goes entirely to the Camillian Center.

Bill Freeman presents Wayne Ogonoski with a certificate of appreciation for their Diamond Sponsorship donation this past year.Bill Freeman presents Wayne Ogonoski with a certificate of appreciation for their Diamond Sponsorship donation this past year.

With donors like them, who specify where they would like their donations to go, we try to match them, or at least complement them, so that together we have a bigger impact on the said project. And, as a result, over the last 3 years, we have combined to donate 2,169,052 baht to the Camillian Center.

The emphasis of our sponsorship over that period has been mainly for the total care of Fey and Tewid, two children with disabilities and HIV statuses presently stabilized.

Fey is now 7, blind and mentally impaired while Tewid is 14, autistic and partially paralyzed. Both children used to be at the Rayong center before being transferred to Lat Krabang in 2009, where there are teachers and professionals to provide specialized education and care.

Taptim after being presented with a shirt from us.Taptim after being presented with a shirt from us.

This center was opened in 2008 with the specific aim of caring for the disabled. Faisal Malik is coordinator on site and is assisted by Kannika Tumma, who is in charge of PR and their outreach program, which entails home visits to the disabled in the community. And of course, the indefatigable and ever-engaging Father Giovanni oversees it all.

At present, there are 17 resident children, 16 of those are orphaned and 8 are HIV positive. There are also 14 regular day visitors, who come for basic education and physical therapy. Most of the kids are affected by physical disabilities, multiple disabilities, blindness, or are learning impaired, autistic or have Down’s syndrome.

There are 34 dedicated staff members at the center, who together work 8-hour shifts around the clock, every day of the year.

Our trip there was culminated by giving the kids commemorative T-shirts from this past year’s charity drive, followed by having lunch with everyone. In the end, the simple rewards of it all were those instant smiles that brighten the kids’ faces whenever a glance is exchanged.

Erle Kershaw, Bernie Tuppin, Wayne Ogonoski, Bill Freeman, Father Giovanni and Khun Kannika (in wheelchair) with the kids.Erle Kershaw, Bernie Tuppin, Wayne Ogonoski, Bill Freeman, Father Giovanni and Khun Kannika (in wheelchair) with the kids.

We are perennially grateful to the organizers of the Canadian Jackalope Open for being the major impetus in making it all happen for these special kids. We look forward to seeing those infectious smiling faces once again at their Christmas pageant on Monday, December 27th.

If you would like more information about our projects and charity drive, please visit our website: www.care4kids.info.