The campaign was launched on Wednesday (May 20) and has already received about B65,000 in donations.
“With this money we bought over one tonne of rice, more than 3.000 eggs, more than 200 litres cooking oil, more than 200 litres of fish sauce and many other helpful things so far,” explained Holger.
Already on two days this week the team set up three stations where people in need could receive basic food supplies as well as basic necessities.
“At the first station every family got a 5kg bag of rice, at the second 15 eggs and at the third station a paper bag with 1 litre of cooking oil, 1 litre of fish sauce, one pack of milk, two packs Mama noodles, two tins of fish, one tube of toothpaste, a bar of soap, a pack of washing powder and for the kids one small soft drink and some snacks,” Holger noted.
Instead of setting up the stations and having people wait to collect the items, the team visits people living in impoverished areas and delivers the essential items to those who need it most, he added.
“We ask our friends who are in need and drive around by ourselves to find camps with people without jobs. After that we contact them and let them know that we are coming,” Holger said.
The campaign was inspired simply by the sheer number of people who still need assistance.
“Some of our friends did this already and we thought that this is a good idea and we also should do something to help the people in need,” Holger explained.
“We try to help people who are in need at most in this difficult period,” he added.
In a special facebook announcing the launch of the campaign, Sea Bees noted, “Dear friends and diving family, it is now official that there will be no international flights until July. Everyone hoped that we could resume our activity sometimes during the summer, but right now the future is quite uncertain and not that bright, honestly.
“For those of us who live in Phuket, the situation is unprecedented. As you know, the tourism-related activities support almost all the island’s inhabitants.
“Now that everything is shut down for months already, the people living and working here are struggling to find a source of income. There is none and unfortunately the situation doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.
“We at Sea Bees Diving, do our best to support all of our local staff but there are dozens of thousands of people out there who can’t afford to buy food anymore.”
For Holger, it is vital to keep such campaigns going.
“Every campaign has its momentum and as we have to rely on the donations of our customers and friends, we try to help now as much as we can and hope that soon no help will be needed when Phuket gets back on its feet,” he said.
The campaign will continue as long as necessary. “We will keep doing this campaign as long as we get donations,” Holger assured.
Holger gave special praise for the team of volunteers who have stepped up to make the campaign happen.
“We have a great team at Sea Bees Diving and everybody helps as much as they can with shopping, making packages and deliveries,” he said.
“There are many others out there who help and also deserve the highest appreciation. Klaus Orlik from Poseidon Diving and Bastian Prestele with his team are only two of many who are also helping at the moment,” he added.
Holger explained that while donations of items are appreciated, monetary donations are preferred simply for logistics and so that donations can be directed at what is needed most at the time.
“The best is to send money so we can buy food. Any donations in kind are not easy to handle and hard to transport,” he added.
“Please support us if you can. We opened a special bank account and all funds will go into buying food essentials. We’ll keep everyone updated on progress and each delivery on our social media,” Sea Bees explained in their post earlier this week.
“Every small amount counts enormously for the people living here in this period. Thank you a lot and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions,” Sea Bees urged.
Donations made locally can made to the following account:
Account name: Padee Wathasunthonpong
Account number: 766-001044-3
Bank: Bangkok Bank
Another account set up in euros in Germany is also available to receive donations:
Account holder: Sea Bees Diving
IBAN: DE86 7225 0160 1020 2807 47
Any persons wanting to contact Holger and the team can do so via:
The Phuket News understands that there are many other similar campaigns underway across the island to help people left without any income due to the COVID-19 situation. We commend them all for their wholehearted goodwill and support for the community they live in.