June 30, 2009 9:03 AM PDT
HELLO Wes and Kirk!!!
Thank you SO much for your replies. Wes I will definately be emailing you later today! I have thousands (hehe) of questions.
Kirk- I was SO ecstatic that you replied and have accepted me to come volunteer. At around 7pm I was chanting and visualizing that I would be accepted and here you are! :)
What would the next steps be now? I am leaving work; so would be able to come anytime after November. When do you have space?
Thank you again!!! Have an amazing day!
June 30, 2009 9:05 AM PDT
Oops! Wes I just saw your other post! You have family in Port Alberni? My Grandma has a cabin on Sprout Lake (20 minutes from Port Alberni). It's a VERY beautiful region...especially in the summer!
Thank you again for being so helpful. Emailing you soon! Ciao.
Just a thought...
I was corresponding with the wonderful veteran volunteer Wes. Last time he went he said he raised $750 and built a playground. That got me thinking about fundraising and a proposal....I did something similar both times before I went to Peru to raise money and fund some of our projects....
Should I create a proposal with some of the "projects" we will be working on in Thailand (i.e. Explaining the integrity of Isara and HOW you beautifully help the Thai people WITH a description of the projecs AND some sort of numerical data so people know what they are putting their money towards, i.e. $50 buys 20 helmets, $100 puts a child through school for X months, $750 builds a playground)?
If so...whenever you get a chance (I know you are SO busy)....please let me know what projects you will be working on this fall/and the approximate cost of funding.
Also Kirk- from what I understand you have kindly accepted my application. I was hoping to book my ticket so just wanted to confirm. Do you have space for me in October?
Thank you for your time in reading this message. Have an AMAZING day!
I think fundraising before you head to Thailand is a great idea! Have you got any ideas of things you'd like to do specifically while you are in Thailand? :)
I've been researching on your website; and looking at the beautiful pictures of your projects.
Wes suggested I ask for your advice on what projects are in need of funding. I'm up for anything; but have (a bit) of experience with manual labor. I really liked how Wes built a playground for the children so they can play and experience this.
You are the expert :) let me know what areas you would like to focus on this year! For example...one of the posts/pictures on the forum showed the Learning Center and how you just purchased blinds for the classroom because the sun was blinding the children's eyes! SO WONDERFUL! :D
Hi Julie! Thanks for wanting to come over and help. ;D
If you're interested in helping a school or community there are a lot of things we could do if you're able to raise some money. Lots of schools are in need of new tables, chairs, sports equipment, and some even need a playground.
Isara's next big purchase is going to be a used van. As we expand we are finding ourselves very limited without 4-wheels. Especially when we have more volunteers than can safely fit on a motorcycle. So if you wanted to help us raise money to buy a van we would really appreciate it. (We had a raffle to help raise funds for the van but all of that money went into the new classrooms.)
Looking forward to meeting you and showing you around Nong Khai. Thanks again for wanting to make a difference.
Hi Kirk! Thank you for your quick response and the project ideas!
COOL! I would love to raise money for your van and to build a playground.
One more thing...for Peru I put together a proposal outlining WHAT the projects were (in Isara's case a van and playground) and WHY these projects are SO crucial for the development of the children.
1) I know this sounds silly, but can you give me a bit more "emotional" information on how a playground and van will impact the people of Thailand. It's just that when you strike a chord of compassion in my heart with your story; I can be more successful at fundraising.
2) Could you also tell me the approximate cost of how much a van is. Wes said that a playground is $750. Is that what I should be aiming for for the playground? Approximately how much would it be to furnish a school with new tables and chairs?
Thank you for taking the time to write back about this! I am VERY excited to meet you and all the beautiful people of Thailand.
Kirk- is there room for me in October? I was going to buy my ticket soon.
July 8, 2009 10:13 AM PDT
Hi Julie. It's after midnight here so I should probably answer your main questions when I'm more awake. ;D
But to quickly answer your last question... Oh yea, we've got room for you in October. Come on over!
July 8, 2009 12:21 PM PDT
YIPPEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! I'm booking the ticket! This is SO exciting :)
Get a good nights sleep! Looking forward to hear more about the projects so I can help spread the word and bring over some money!
Hi Julie, glad to see someone so pro-active before they get there.
I have talked to PK many times about what it is like over there. One thing he told me was how corrupt the schools were. When he told me about a head school master's office was the only one with A/C and he sees all the money going to comforts for him instead of for the kids, I thought this is just wrong.
Government money for schooling the kids is squandered on these people who do not have the kids well being as their primary concern. They have manipulated the system for their own good and the kids suffer. This is where Isara steps in and buys the things that should have been bought in the first place.
I'm sure I didn't do it justice and with the passion the PK talks about it, but that is what woke me up to what good money can do over there.
Oh my gosh! How do some people live with themselves? Thank you for your reply. Do you know of any links (off the top of your head) that describes the living/schooling conditions of the children? Does Kirk have a blog?
July 9, 2009 11:55 AM PDT
I'm sure we can come up with better than a blog. I bet we have pictures around here somewhere.
August 7, 2009 9:26 AM PDT
Hello again everyone, Selena and Martin here!
Sorry for the long delay in writing on here! we have been working very hard to save for our trip. and still cant wait to come on over and help out anyway we can! only around 4 weeks till we are there! just cant wait to make a difference!
August 15, 2009 9:40 AM PDT
My name is Luca and im 28.
Is there any chance to be a volunteer at Isara, being not a native english speaker?
Im Polish, with fluent english, in the middle of my TEFL course.
I have a degree in graphic design,interior design and 3D visalizations, im also a computer geek (well, literate, and i do have a life ;) ) and photographer.
For last 3 years, i have traveled all over europe, most of the time working as a vounteer (HelpXchange).
I could help with any computer/graphic related area, but my main goal is to become an english teacher. Hopfully, after my practice in a scotish school(thats where i am now) i will have a bit more experience in this matter.
Im looking to be a long term volunteer (min 6 months), but anything will do. I have a friend in Thailand and one day i would like to find a paid job there and stay there as long as possible. ( i would love to live there)
I would be grateful for any info.
August 26, 2009 6:08 PM PDT
My name is Travis and I'm currently living in Champaign, Illinois which is home to the University of Illinois. I have been lurking in this forum for some time now but finally have applied to volunteer with Isara in Thailand.
I have performed volunteer work locally always with the dream and desire of volunteering internationally. My life situation has finally allowed for that dream to become reality and I've been actively researching numerous organizations & opportunities. :) The Isara mission and community seems like a good fit to my beliefs and personality.
I look forward to getting to know more of you, and hopefully in person! Peace, -Travis
August 26, 2009 6:24 PM PDT
Awesome news Travis! When will you be heading to Thailand? :) (love the birds avatar!)
August 27, 2009 3:24 AM PDT
Hi,Selena and Martin. We are waiting for you guys too:)
Sawasdee Luca and chager! Welcome to Isara. Your guys seem nice to me. Pk will contact you back through the PM too.
August 27, 2009 6:02 AM PDT
:D Exciting news Travis!! I'm sure Isara could use your help! :D The ILC had 100 students come just the other night. :o
Keep in touch when you can.
August 27, 2009 7:26 AM PDT
Going to spend time to help out Isara was one of the most rewarding things that I could have done for my summer break from school. It allowed me to spend time with really awesome kids (plus those other two, Kirk and Ming). I was there for 8 weeks, so I spent the last 2 weeks of my time traveling around SE Asia. At least from personal experience, traveling was fun, but helping out with a larger mission to help the people of Thailand was what made my trip so special. I'm from central Illinois too! Don't hesitate to contact me (or anyone here!) if you have any questions.
August 27, 2009 2:51 PM PDT
Good gosh, you are all such a friendly and happy bunch! I cannot wait to meet some of you...
Gina = regarding arrival to Thailand---It's totally open and I'm ready to go whenever. After a year of soul-searching, I have resigned my position at the University of Illinois to pursue my ten year old dream of volunteering and/or teaching internationally. My life situation has finally allowed for this and I hope to be in Thailand no later than December.
Ming = thank you for the warm welcome.
KitKat = 100 students in one night?! That's amazing and fantastic :) I look forward to helping out in any way.
Jordan = thanks for sharing your story. I'm curious where in central Illinois you are from, and what you are currently up to?
August 28, 2009 5:03 AM PDT
lol! Ming and Kirk head up the Isara Learning Center in Thailand, while most of us give support from the States.
It's great to see new people on the forum excited about helping the Learning Center and Isara with their philanthropy. ;D Welcome aboard!
September 1, 2009 4:24 PM PDT
I have read and re-read your post and I didn't completely something you said. ::) You said "Pk will contact me back through the PM." What is the "PM?" ???
September 1, 2009 5:08 PM PDT
Travis, I'm from Petersburg, near Springfield, but I'm in Rhode Island most of the year now because that's where I'm going to college.
September 1, 2009 5:42 PM PDT
A pm is short hand for 'private message'. Isara forum's has a private messaging system so that we don't have to share our emails if we don't want to. I'll send you an example, then on your front page, you should see a 1 on the upper right corner, or you might get a pop-up box that says "You have a private message, would you like to read it now?" :) Hope that helps!
September 3, 2009 3:06 PM PDT
Jordan = i'm not familiar with Petersburg, but I am with Springfield. There is a thrift store called Recycled Records that is great. The basement is all used furniture, the main floor is new and used CDs--vintage stereo equipment--other "pop" culture items, and the top floor is all vinyl records. It is run by these two brothers that are just complete characters :D
Ginafish = thank you for the information!