and our ongoing support of
FOR YEAR 2000
Assistance Report - October 2000.
The following is a summary of events conducted on behalf of the TLC Brotherhood during our journey to Southeast Asia from the period August 24 - September 7, 2000. All travel was at the individual expense of those who traveled. No part of the journey was funded through Assistance Funds nor supplemented in any way by the TLC Brotherhood.
Several new TLC members were signed up at the Texas Lone Staar (that how the sign reads!) where our organization is held in high esteem at this legendary hang out. Be sure to visit if you are in Bangkok.
At Khon Kaen, we stopped at Post 10249 Commander Forrest Williams home for a warm welcome and to view Forrest's operations manufacturing walkers and crutches with funds provided by "Operation Crutch" of the TLC Brotherhood. I think Forrest could make anything!
Forrest conducted a tour of field operations surrounding Khon Kaen, including the vacillates which manufacture the wheelchairs we provide and The Christian Foundation for the Blind. We viewed the operations, spoke with the directors and learned how the Braille textbooks are manufactured on site for use by the students.
In the afternoon we visited the Udorn School For Hearing Impaired Children of about 400 and Nancy spoke to the children directly in ASL (American Sign Language) even though she had no knowledge of Thai. The children held a question and answer period and it was wonderful to see their faces light up as they discovered they could become a success in life as well.
Upon our arrival in Udorn we immediately met with Tommy Thompson who was alert and waiting for us all day! It was so good to finally meet in person! We had a great time together and it was very encouraging to all of Tommy's friends and family to see him so actively participating!
A meeting was held with Tommy Thompson, Assistance Committee Assistant Chairman - Thailand and the Officers of Post 10249 Udorn Thailand for the purpose of appointing an assistant to handle the visitations, purchase and delivery of items to the agencies we are assisting until such time as Tommy is on his feet (Tommy walked a few steps while we were there!) to conduct the actual physical operations. Tommy will directly oversee the planning and implementation as always.
With the concurrence of President Bill Tilton, I recommended Vichit Mingrachata, who has been working hand in hand with Tommy for the past couple of years for the position. As most of you know, Vichit worked for the American Embassy in Thailand, speaks excellent English and is a member of the TLC Brotherhood. It was felt the appointment of Vichit would be a great asset and wonderful to have a Thai member working directly within the community. As this was immediately agreed upon by all, especially Tommy, Vichit was appointed as Assistance Committee Deputy Assistant Chairman - Thailand.
A fourteen year old girl is now being assisted on a daily basis for food by funds (2000 baht) which will be distributed by Vichit's wife . Suninat (who is well known to Vichit and John Oles) attends school in Udorn and lives with her grandmother (her parents are deceased) and has been trying to sell small items on the street for food. The assistance of the TLC Brotherhood will insure she has a meal for several months and we will continue our assistance in the future. This is a splendid example of what a great difference we are able to make at a level not obtainable by many other organizations.
A welcome reception was held by Post 10249 and several members of the post used the occasion to submit their memberships to the TLC Brotherhood. A good time was had by all.
We also visited the PhonPhisal Community Based Rehabilitation Center, Daniel Ortiz , Director where we discussed the walker and crutch programs and viewed the small but efficient operations.
Each of the agencies was requested to contact Forrest and Vichit with a list of needs which the TLC Brotherhood could use to provide assistance in the future.
Our one day journey into Laos was very successful due in no small part to the able assistance of Mac Thompson and Forrest Williams who escorted us over! Mac negotiated arrangements for hiring a van to take us to the Lane-Xang Hotel in Vientiane as vehicles are not allowed to cross freely into Laos and our attempts to contact Jim Michener had been unsuccessful. Once at the hotel and rooms procured we were able to reach Jim who informed us a meeting had been arranged at the U. S. Embassy at 4:30 pm. with Karen Stewart, Charge D' Affaires.
After introductions all around, Jim Michener was appointed as Assistance Committee Assistant Chairman - Laos. Thereupon the background of the TLC and our assistance operations in SEA were explained.
The following morning we departed Laos and headed to Sakon Nakhon for an appointment with Archbishop Lawrence W. Khai for lunch and visit to Thare where the children were expecting us. They displayed their many hours of practice with their band instruments provided by the TLC Brotherhood and march and played continuously for fifteen minutes. They played the music from "The Longest Day"! We each addressed the children and presented all of them with cookies we purchased at our own expense downtown on our way. They responded by singing God Bless America in Thai. There was hardly a dry eye in the place!!
With the successful establishment of a VFW Post in Phnom Penh last week by Forrest Williams and other Pacific VFW Officers, a representative for the TLC Brotherhood Assistance Committee will have been established in Cambodia as well.
Although the majority of our TLC members do not contribute to the Assistance Fund those who do so have been generous and have made a great difference in the lives of those we assist.
Anyone who would like to make a tax deductible donation (the TLC Brotherhood is a recognized 501(c) 3 non profit charity) may do so be dropping a check in the mail to
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