Annual Niwot Thai gift sale to help children's home


November 20, 2019 | View PDF

Courtesy Photo

Affordable, unique, handmade Thai gifts at the CWR Goods Sale, proceeds go to supporting the Promise Home for Children in Thailand

In 2011, Heather McCarthy and her daughter joined a friend on a trip to Thailand aimed at helping local children there. Overwhelmed by the love and gratitude from those she helped, she was inspired to do more. Her need to serve this community resulted in McCarthy and a few peers starting Charities Within Reach (CWR) and opened up the Promise Home in northern Thailand.

What is unique about CWR is the organization is not supported by any major corporation. It is a self-identified grassroots group of friends who simply want to support Thai communities. In fact, four of the seven board members hail from Niwot and the organization makes the effort to ensure that everything they do goes into the program and the Promise Home. McCarthy and her team have put in countless hours and so much effort focusing largely on helping Thai children. "Thailand doesn't have the same type of government services for children," McCarthy explained. Her home, and others like it, are sometimes the only forms of stability and support these children have.

To provide resources for the home to operate, CWR holds a few annual fundraisers including a Thai gift sale. What makes this gift sale unique is the fact that it is a small part in a larger microeconomic project. "We purchase items from the locals, and these hill tribes are able to live off our purchases, and then we sell to people here and this money supports our home," explained McCarthy. "It's a circle: we get to support the hill tribes and the children. We support many different families in a few different tribes. We want people who go to the sale to understand that yes, the proceeds go to the home, but that we also support many, many different hill tribe families." Fellow CWR board member Dana Dodge commented, saying that especially at this time of the year with the holidays, she hopes that people have a little more global awareness and that people stop to think about how they can help others.

Dodge, echoing McCarthy, went on to say that CWR is a simple, grassroots organization who welcome community members to volunteer and support their cause--especially through the gift sale. "We've always had a Thailand sale and it's all volunteer labor [that makes it happen]. It's a very positive gift giving program, the mood at the fair makes it fun." The sale, which will be hosted at the Left Hand Grange, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. through 4 p.m. on Dec. 14. The whole group is excited for this event, because the event will give community members an opportunity to learn about their philanthropy while also giving people the opportunity to purchase unique gifts.

This teaching moment is key for the CWR team. "Given that the price of items and cost of living keeps increasing, our main concern is being able to sustain it for a number of years in the future," McCarthy said. "We would really like to get a larger support base and a larger group of individuals who will come and join us for these events."


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