Posted by Mike Lake
This year the club delivered six truckloads of winter clothing to three different sites in the mountainous northwestern region of Chiang Mai. PP Shana Kongmun set up collection boxes at 14 locations in and around Chiang Mai in mid- October at government offices, shopping malls, hospitals, international schools, super markets, and restaurants.  Friend of CMIRC Peter Barlow collected the clothing as it accumulated in the boxes and brought it to P Jerry Nelson’s house, where it was sorted according to quality and usefulness. 
 
On November 11th, Peter Barlow, his friend Mrs. Nat L’houmeau, and CMIRC member Mike Lake delivered the first three truckloads of clothing to four locations in Piang Luang near the Burmese Border, including a Shan Refugee Camp and Sweet Home Orphanage.
 
Peter Barlow then delivered a truckload of clothing to each of three sites: a rural school in mountainous Om Koi on Nov. 20th, a rural school in Mae Ai near Fang on Nov. 27th, and a village back in Piang Luang on Nov. 28th.
 
Peter Barlow at the Red Lahu Women's Empowerment Group on November 28th
 
Sallo Polek of the Chiang Mai charity Philanthropy Connections arranged with local school officials at the various sites for the deliveries. After Peter made the last delivery on Nov. 28th, we still had a roomful of clothing to distribute, but Sallo had no more destinations for us, as we had already far exceeded his expectations. We then decided to donate the remaining clothes to local organizations.
 
Serviceable clothing not suitable for cold-weather hill tribe use (t-shirts, bathing suits, summer dresses, etc.) went to the Free Bird Café, which supports the Thai Freedom House for indigenous peoples; a dormitory for Karen hill tribe children; Child’s Dream, a charity in Chiang Mai dedicated to improving the lives of children; scholarship students of Stu and the Kids, a local educational NGO; and the B. K. Kee Patient House in Chiang Mai, which houses Burmese children with severe medical problems that can’t be treated in Burma.
 
This year, our collection was nearly twice as big as last year's, with hundreds of disadvantaged men, women, and children throughout Chiang Mai province and beyond benefiting from the kindness of residents in the capital.
 
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