August 2021 was the biggest month so far for Life Bag donations; despite the restrictions facing volunteers, lack of domestic travel and the relatively small trickle of Sandbox guests. Efforts to support vulnerable families and communities have been taking place for over 1.5 years (a massive 80 weeks), with multiple donations each week focussed on specific in-need and at-risk communities.
The situation on the ground unfortunately remains critical with many people still requiring direct food relief, so 5 Star Marine continue to deliver week in week out, and for this they are thankful for the help they receive.
Amy and Nando at Sutai Muay Thai have committed to every packing and donation effort from the very beginning; donating their time, energy and providing this continuous effort from their base at Sutai Muay Thai gym in Surin. The gym has been turned into a makeshift base for the packing and distribution of Life Bags across the island and beyond. Additionally, these delivery efforts use Sutai Muay Thai trucks and staff as well as 5 Star Marine’s speedboats to access some of the most at-risk areas, allowing this charity effort to go further afield reaching impoverished smaller villages and islands communities. Amy and Nando, thank you for always volunteering, never tiring, and bringing such positivity to our volunteering efforts.
UWC Thailand International School, coordinated by Kru Heidi and Kru Remke, have provided very welcome assistance as part of their community and Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs). Whilst right now no large-scale volunteer packing is allowed at Sutai Muay Thai, both students and teachers of the school continue to help on and off campus, packing thousands of Life Bags, helping us collectively match the ever-growing demand.
A final heartfelt thank you goes to Phuket Has Been Good To Us, and Tina Hall and Graham Haslam in particular. Never ones to let challenges get in the way of collaborating to effectively support the most vulnerable communities; these teachers and volunteers not only make a difference in the lives of underprivileged Thai children via their educational and extra-curricular activities, but they are also a core team behind the 5 Star Marine Life Bag operations. Whether packing, co-ordinating or providing transportation support ‒ nothing is too much for them and they are always there and ready to help out, no matter how short the notice is!
The reality today is that the need remains in the community and 5 Star Marine will continue to do what they can to get us through this stage of the pandemic. They are immensely thankful to all the unsung heroes across the island and beyond, without whom we could not keep these efforts going week after week.
To Amy, Nando, Kru Heidi, Kru Remke, Tina and Graham; and everyone who has lent a hand or donated, thank you. There are thousands of people in our communities whose lives have benefited from your generosity and commitment.
Stay safe and be kind, from the 5 Star Marine team.