It all started with a collection on the tables in my slimming classes. I then found Friends of Maldives’ website and found out what was needed.
When asked to go out to the islands I felt that as a mum of three I couldn’t, but it was my husband Ian who said I should go and he‘d stay and look after the boys. I’m nervous about it but really excited, as it will be a chance to continue helping the people of the Maldives.
I have met some amazing people. I admire my friends Amhed and Dave for what they are doing and through the whole experience learnt a lot about myself, I’m really enjoying this whole new love affair with the Maldives, I’m sure this will be with a passion once I’ve been out there.
I am a mother of three from Lancing in West Sussex and I set up and coordinated an aid effort following the tsunami. The response was phenomenal: my first three media interviews requested aid and helpers and our phones did not stop ringing. Within forty-eight hours I had a rota of twenty-five people in my house, sorting and packing essential aid. Within a week we had moved to a hangar at Shoreham Airport.
I arranged pallets, shrink-wrapping, and boxes; I recruited a warehouse manager, a forklift truck and a driver. There was a constant stream of people coming to the door wishing to help.
Thanks to the efforts and generosity of the people in Lancing and area we managed to send out many tonnes of aid and raise a considerable amount of funds. I have met some wonderful people and I feel great not only to have helped the people of the Maldives but also to have made it possible for thousands of people to contribute directly to the Tsunami Disaster.
To anyone who reads this summary: IF I COULD DO THIS, SO CAN YOU.
When we heard about the disastrous tsunami on Boxing Day, we knew we had to do something positive. We opened up our house and garage, put up posters, spoke to all the local shops and radio stations and even had an interview with Anne Diamond. New Year’s Eve was one of the most memorable ever; all our friends and neighbours opted out of partying and came to sort, pack, label and load all the supplies that had been gathered.
We were also given a cheque for £5,000 from the sisters of Mill Hill Abbey Lodge. We provided two further van loads of aid during February, and still continue to raise money.
Michael is currently in the Maldives as a volunteer with FOM and, hopefully, will have lots of up-to-date information and photos to share with everyone on his return.
Michael and Eileen
My son Konnor and I went to help pack aid in Southampton just after Christmas and we have been involved ever since!
What is great is that Konnor has learnt so much, not only about the people of the Maldives and their needs, but also how to work in a team of dedicated people. We have been involved in everything from packing, palleting and container loading to labeling bicycles and packing Happy Buckets. Konnor also persuaded his head teacher to involve his school in the Happy Bucket scheme. This has been a great life lesson for both of us and we’ve made a lot of new friends on the way. Thanks FOM.
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