Enote 12 – Naw Eh HserSeptember 30, 2004
As I write, Liz and I have just completed our annual mailing campaign to some 3500 families. As most of you know, nearly all of our support comes from individual donations solicited in this campaign. Katheryne Gall who helps us with the design of our brochure, seems to do better every year. We received many comments on this year's effort: the colors, the information, and the presentation were all appreciated. Even the printer, who must see hundreds of brochures a year, was moved to comment on it. A very big thank you to Katheryne for her superior effort. We also assembled some local Hamiltonians as a focus group to help us evaluate different possible themes and presentations. If some of you did not receive the brochure this year —the picture on the left was on the front page— just send us you post address and we'll be happy to send you one. We have a few hundred left.
The initial response to this mailing has been excellent. Last year, which was our best year overall for fund-raising, we had received $74,742 by September 30, this year we have received $79,632 by that same date, in spite of the fact that we got started later this year. We are very optimistic.
One of the very best decisions Liz and I made was to reach out to our local community for help. They responded generously with advice, work, and encouragement, especially John Novak, Ed and Marcia Sitts with the mailing, and Carolyn Dearnaley, Shirley Reynolds and Paula Phillips on the Focus Group. We think of them and all who have contributed to our work as partners.
Meet Naw Eh Hser
We first met Eh Hser several years ago when she applied for funds to help her go to school. In our conversation with her, Liz asked what she really wanted to do with her life when she finished school. Her dream was to run a boarding house for Karen children. She wanted specifically to include children from both sides of the Thai Burmese border. She wanted Thai and Burmese to get to know one another, and to help erase the differences that an arbitrary border, drawn through the middle of their homeland, had placed on the Karen people. Soon the conversation began to focus on details: how much space would be required, would she need another adult helper, how much money for food. Within a year Eh Hser had not only started school, but had established a boarding house for Thai and Burmese Karen children with our help.
She did so well that after a few years, Eh Hser was able to persuade another organization to fund the construction of a completely new house. Shown here, sitting on the front porch of her brand new house talking to Liz is Eh Hser. Her husband called us a few weeks later to tell us that she had a baby girl.
Communication with our American donors, and a number of persons who wish to volunteer their services in Asia.
Preparing for a Trustees Meeting on October 9.
Starting preparation for the next visit to Asia, our fourteenth.
Planning a visit to the Boston area, on November 13 and 14.
We hope this note finds you all happy and healthy. Please write us with any questions or comments, and especially if you wish to visit us in Thailand.. We will be happy to respond.
Tom & Liz