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How service and action really can help

17 March 2014

Poppy, a year 8 student, reflects on the cycling challenge she set herself to raise money to help Yok, her deaf friend, finally hear again.

During the October half term holiday in 2013, I cycled over 450 km from Ayutthaya to Angkor Wat: Temple-To-Temple (T-2-T), to raise money to help correct the hearing of my 8 year old deaf friend, Yok.  I had first connected with Yok during the Sport in the Community activities, as part of Round Square Week in 2013.  Little did I know then that my new found friendship would set me on a challenge of a life time and help improve the life of Yok.  In total, 250,000 baht was raised for  the T-2-T Challenge, with Yok recently receiving a new, high-tech set of hearing aids before she graduated on the 7th March 2014 from Sotpatana School for the Deaf.

This challenge has been a life changing experience for me, something I might only do once, something that I never would have thought was possible, something that I would have mentally been unable to do before; but it was made possible because I met Yok, because Miss Harris  my favourite teacher inspired me in PE to become a leader, because Miss Nicholls, Mr Madden, Mr Reardon and my Dad were by my side during the whole T-2-Temple Challenge, and because I always reminded myself that, "There is more in you than you think." - Kurt Haan

I want you to remember that I am only 12 years old and yet I have completed something that you would have probably thought was impossible for someone my age. My point is that I encourage you to do something amazing too.

This is what Khun Toy wrote in her letter to me, after receiving the donation for Yok:

'Word fails me when trying to write how appreciated we all have been ever since hearing about your effort and devotion in trying to bike from Ayudhaya to Ankor Wat to fundraise for Yok's hearing operation.  As a young student you have such a big heart to think big and you have the determination to make it happen.  As a person who has been working at the Pattay Orphanage for over 20 years, you are the first girl who has done such a great contribution towards the life of a child.  I wish all children have the high determination, only 50% of what you have, and the world would be such a wonderful place to live.'

Not only have I achieved something awesome, but I have also helped someone else in achieving a higher level in their own life. I suggest that you get motivated, open yourself to the world and find something that you can work on to improve. It doesn't have to be for someone else, just start with yourself and "Shine, shine, shine, shine your way."

Once again I would like to say thank you to everyone out there who donated some money to Yok's cause; I am very appreciative of your help and support in this T-2-Temple Challenge.
Thank you.

Is it over?
Some people say the T- 2-T Challenge was a challenge of a life time and a once in a life time opportunity... the question is... Is it over?  Yok has a nice new hearing aid and she has her education paid for the next 5 years. But what happens after that?

You can read all about my challenge from the start to this point in time on my blog: http://poppymulford.blogspot.com/