Like many places around the world, Ko Samui suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic and the way many governments respond to it. Approximately 95% of the Island’s population relies on tourism. The majority were from China, so it suffered from early in the pandemic, and many residents lost their livelihoods. The Thai Government, like many Governments, promised to subsidise where it could; however, the support was slow to arrive for many, and it made minimal impact.
Fortunately, financial institutions were quicker to respond, giving many people relief from mortgage and other payments, which helped. The full impact of the shutdown of the International border inevitably arrived at the end of March 2020 on Ko Samui, and the effect was immediate.
“You keep what you have only by giving it away” – Universal paradox
New Leaf Detox, its staff and management have been graced with health and success, and we felt we had an obligation to assist where we could. Air Page, New Leaf’s owner, decided on April 29, 2020, to do our first self financed food donation in our Maenam/Bophut area.
” It’s my husband’s birthday, and instead of travelling with the kids and having a weekend away, we decided to donate the money to the community. We felt a community food donation was the most appropriate way,” said Air Page, owner of New Leaf Detox Resort. We expected approximately 350 people, almost 700 showed up. We were shocked and overwhelmed. Many distraught men, women and children showed up and waited for hours. Fifteen minutes into the first donation, we decided to do another, bigger one as soon as possible.
A guest and friend of New Leaf, Brian Wallace from Australia, saw the video we shot and published the first donation and immediately wanted to finance the second one. Brian, a successful business person in the Arts world, gave a considerable contribution which prompted us to put up a donation page on GoGetFunding and let other friends and guests contribute.
Finding As Much As We Could
The funding campaign was a complete success, and both on and offline. We raised more than 150,000 Thai baht. 100% of the funds, less than 7% for GoGetFunding and PayPal, purchased rice, eggs and cooking oil. We had planned to feed 750 families but managed to buy more food and offer enough for 1,000 people on the day.
Thai authorities advised we do a pre-registration.
The pre-registration process is where we give out tickets a few days before the donation day. We planned to do 600 pre-registration tickets, but over 1,000 people showed up. An indication of what might happen on the day, so we prepared for more significant numbers.
On The Day
May 26, 2020, at 4.00 pm, we commenced the donation.
Already volunteers from several Ko Samui Hospitals, Police and Community groups came to assist. Our staff and friends Gary Sparks and his partner Khun Gin helped. Social distancing was a priority, so the venue of Chaweng Lakeside was chosen. Undercover areas, ample parking, open and safe and able to distance everyone made for the perfect location.
The donation last just over one hour, and we managed to give one of each item to 750 families, and the remaining food went to those who didn’t pre-register and to our volunteers.
New Leaf Detox Resort Maenam beach Ko Samui, Thailand would like to acknowledge and thank the many people who donated to help feed needy families on Koh Samui, Thailand May 26, 2020. You made a huge difference, and you are much appreciated. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The people of Ko Samui thank you.
- Brian Wallace – Taree, Australia
- Zeyco Kitchens & Wardrobes Samui
- Patricia Page
- Gabrielle Lloyd
- Laura Tomasiello
- Philip King-Turner
- Aruna Paramasivam
- Jon Craig
- Malcolm Haddock
- Enrique Marchese
- Gary Cartner
- Charis Heelan
- Sonia Nassif
- Jane Schmidt
- Jayne Armstrong
- Ross Seddon
- Valerian Cure
- Simon Albury
- Robyn Schmidt
- Kerry Jones
- Lauren Thomson
- Sue Roberton
- Debbie Jones
- Dedra Thornton
- Tegan Ahuriri
- Sile Dorney
- Mellisa Slender
- Sasan Fazil
- Chotika Petcharoen
- Emma Halkyard
- Victoria Lees
- Faisal Almubarak
- Claire Halkyard
Thank you to the other many Anonymous donors who made generous contributions. We would also like to thank:
- Facebook page supporters
- Koh Samui People
- Samui People Who Give a S**t
- Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao Thailand
- Thailand Travel Advice Group.
New Leaf Detox Resort, its management and staff and the Koh Samui Community Thanks you.
Thank you to these fantastic people for their generous donations.