Greetings all and thank you for visiting my fundraising page!
My name is Tin Mai and for one month next year, I will be riding just about the whole length of Viet Nam (1,200 miles, or 2,000km for you silly metric-system users.) From Hanoi to the Hoch, up & down mountains and through paddy fields, I will be beasting it up in my spandex to raise funds for the impoverished children and youth of Viet Nam!
Tin Mai, what exactly is an H2H and can I feed/pet/kick it?
I'll answer that second question first: No. H2H stands for Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon's official name.) The H2H Charity Ride was founded in 2008 by a group of English teachers who wanted to give something back by helping those who needed it the most, the poorest children and youth of Viet Nam. The inaugural ride was in 2009, followed by one in 2010, with the next scheduled for February of 2012.
Tin Mai, why set yourself up for the possibilty of broken bones, blistering sun burns or a bruised bottom?
Well, my lovelies, it's quite simple, really. I was blessed with the opportunity to come to this beautiful country to set out on a wild adventure and a wild adventure it has been. Viet Nam has been my home for nearly a year now and I wanted to give back to the country that has given me so much. I recognize the privilege I have here and definitely want to share in anyway I can to those who are less fortunate.
Tin Mai, your friends and family know you're the only one they know who is crazy enough to do this, so is this a solo trip? I mean, who in their right mind would want to join you on this grueling rode?
Oh, Tin Mai's friends and family, you are mistaken! It will not be just I who will be tearing up the pavement and dirt tracks. There will be 19 other crazy-enough-to-do-this volunteers/riders/road demons/H2H-ers joining me for this charity ride. They range from English teachers at ILA (my school) allllllllllll the way across the board to, well, English teachers at Apollo and other schools. So, it's mostly English teachers. We are all expats who share the same feeling of wanting to support and ride for our charities.
Tin Mai, you keep mentioning these charities and those who need the support the most. Where exactly will my money be going if, nay, when, I donate?
Well, my philanthropic-feeling friends, our ride aims to raise funds for three charities. By clicking on that pretty, green "Donate" button at the bottom of my page, you will have the opportunity to support The Children's Initiative. TCI is dedicated to improving the lives of children in Viet Nam through strategic, long-term investments in community-based projects and programs.
The 2012 H2H funds will be supporting the following:
- Catdang community kindergarden project. The construction of a new
kindergarden facility to enable all under 5’s in Catdang community to learn in
a safe, well equipped, child-friendly environment. H2H funds will support theconstruction of a new building by local workers and resources for the school,
such as books, stationery, toys, playground equipment, blankets, mats and
- Catdang community family micro credit project. TCI empowers families
with small business loans of $250 combined with training and support, e.g.
a piggery or bamboo cutting machines. These target parents of the poorest
students at the school. The positive impact on household incomes has
particular benefits on health and education for the women and children within
the families. H2H funds will contribute towards the growth of this project.
- Catdang community library project. Completion of the library project that
H2H has been funding for 2 years, serving 800 students in the community.
This will go towards more books, audio-visual equipment, DVD’s, shelving
and storage as well as a librarian stipend. In Catdang, $50 can buy 25 books,
1 month’s pay for a librarian or a 1-year scholarship for a student.
Wow, Tin Mai! Your ride, the charities, the riders, they all sound so great! I definitely want to support your cause. Can I give you all my money now?
Well, friends. It's not me who will be taking your money. Aside from expenses for safety, fundraising and financial administration (which will all be kept to absolute essentials), as much of your donations as possible will go directly to our charities! As mentioned earlier, all riders are VOLUNTEERS! That means we are covering all our own expenses for the ride. All the bicycles, gear, flights to Hanoi, guest house accomodations, food, drinks, punctured tubes, bandages, and whatever else needs to be paid for will be paid out of our own spandexy pockets. All riders have a target goal of $750, though, and you can help me DESTROY that target goal by reading the next paragraph. ->>>
And to answer your question: That would be amazing. If you feel that you are in a position to donate that much, the children of Viet Nam, the charities, and I would be eternally grateful. But, fret not. Whether it be $500 or $5, no donation is too large or too little. Whatever you can donate will for sure go a long way here in Viet Nam. Maybe you can forgo your daily cup of $5 coffee or stay in for a $1 movie rental instead of dropping $15 at the cinema. Just know that you'll be helping support the education and healthcare and also be helping break the cycle of poverty for the children and youth of Viet Nam. So, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.
With all that's going been going on in the economy right now, some of you may not be able to donate. That's okay, too. I thank you for the time you took to read my page. But, donating isn't the only way you can help. If you're not able to support the ride in that way, you could definitely share this page with any or all of your friends or family. Maybe send out a quick e-mail or tweet, share this on Facebook or leave it as your status for a day, or repost on your blog.
As an added incentive, if you donate a certain amount, you will be rewarded with something special.
- All donors will have their names** attached to my helmet that I'll be wearing throughout the ride to let people know that your support is helping me through the ride and helping the children of Viet Nam.
- $25 -$49: I will wear a mask of your face for an undetermined amount of time during my ride so you can look like you're right there in my saddle, pedaling to raise these little people out of poverty.
- $50 - $99: If you send me a little something something or a trinket or your portrait, I'll pose with it every day and send you a book of the photos.
- $100+: During the ride, you name it. But please, let's keep it PG. Want me to write a haiku about you and recite it to the people as I ride by? Ride a few days without my padded shorts/saddle (oh, that'd be so cruel)? Ride in my work get up (slacks, long-sleeve, tie and dress shoes)? Name it! But, if it proves to be too dangerous, we'll work out another scenario.
Doesn't that sound swell?
If you would like to know more about the ride, you can check out our website, H2H Charity Ride. You could also keep track of how our training rides are going by reading our H2H blog. Be sure to check it out in February as we will be updating with posts, pics, and videos of our ride.
Again, thanks for taking the time to read my story. I hope you have been moved by it (to give and to give generously :P )
Peace and blessings,
PS: Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts for the H2H Charity Ride.