COVID-19 has put much of the world on hold, including the work of charities like Hands Across The Water.
With 350 children in Thailand depending on this charity, not being able to do their usual fundraising is heartbreaking.
In an effort to keep the charity afloat, Hands Across The Water is hosting a virtual bike ride this June called ‘Ride to Provide Virtual Challenge’. Through an interactive Zoom experience, challengers will cycle the 800km from Petchaburi to Khao Lak in Thailand, from the comfort of their home.
Back in 2004, after the Boxing Day tsunami, Founder of Hands Across The Water, Peter Baines OAM, was then part of the NSW Police Force that helped to find and identify the 5,395 bodies that were recovered.
After meeting a group of local Thai children who had lost their parents, Peter developed Hands Across Water to provide a future for these children. Currently, they have seven different properties they support across Thailand. Hands Across The Water measures their success in not the homes built or money raised but rather the choices the kids have when they leave home.
Currently they have 47 children in universities in Thailand and a number of already-graduated students.
Peter Baines, founder of Hands, says, “The world is on hold. Training is on hold. Fundraising is on hold. But the kids’ lives we support, we cannot put them on hold. We cannot leave their lives to chance. We would be turning the clock back 15 years, prior to Hands becoming involved...their futures would be grim; and in some cases, fatal.”
This June, Hands Across the Water, is hoping to raise $500,000 to alleviate their fundraising deficit and keep the charity afloat. Each registrant for the ‘Ride to Provide Virtual Challenge’ is required to raise $500 for Hands Across The Water.