Outside of business Brendon and his family have a passion for helping kids, especially those from underprivileged circumstances. That’s why in 2012, they chose to support Hands Across the Water, an Australian charity that provides housing, food and education to orphans in Thailand.
How Did This Come About?
As part of the an Entrepreneur group (Business Blueprint) I belong to I was lucky enough to hear Peter Baines the founder of the Hands Across The Water charity speak in Oct 2011.
Here is a quick overview:
In 2004, countless Thai children were left alone and homeless by the Boxing Day tsunami. Peter Baines was working as a police forensic specialist with the tsunami disaster victim identification team and was deeply touched by the number of children left homeless and alone by the natural disaster.
He was inspired to establish an organisation that could make a real difference. That organisation is Hands Across The Water.
Hands Across the Water is an Australian charity that gives at-risk Thai children and their communities a helping hand. Their projects and the work they do is focused on improving the lives of the kids and their communities today and in the future.
As a result of Peters presentation a numbers of us from the group took up an opportunity to visit the Hands Across The Water Orphanage, Baan Tharn Namchai at Khao Lak in Thailand in February 2012. It was such an humbling experience to spend a couple of days at the orphanage with the children. They are so well looked after and extremely happy children, thanks to the dedication of the team and Hands Across The Water.
To see firsthand the work that Hands Across The Water was doing and to know that 100% of every cent raised goes to the kids and their communities (there are no paid staff at Hands Across The Water) was so inspirational. It was at that point that we decided that Hands Across The Water would become the charity that we supported.
As a business we support the charity on a monthly basis. However on a personal level, I felt that there was still more to give and therefore I committed to riding 500 km in five days across Thailand in February 2014. There were a total of 29 of us on the ride and as a group we raised over $180,000 which helped to cover the cost of a new orphanage built to support kids living with HIV. The children went from living in the tents you see to the building that the fundraising associated with the ride was able to cover pictured beside.
I did it again in 2015 with 45 other business owners and we raised just over $300,000 for Hands Across The Water.
The rides are emotional, physically challenging and exhilarating. But overall they are such a great experience. To ride with such a great team of fellow business owners. There are many great memories and emotions. Watch a video of the experience below.
If you would like to find out more about Hands Across The Water, visit their website – Hands Across The Water.