New total 38,429.
I secretly hoped to hit 34,000 for this update so I’m delighted, but not surprised given the pantastic support that Smalls has, that we have well and truly beaten it! I now have the wonderful “challenge” of getting this underwear out of the stockroom and to where it is needed the most.
Many of you who have been with me from the start understand where Smalls has come from, what I’m trying to achieve and where I want Smalls to go. For some people that have joined the “Smalls” world more recently you might be wondering how our model works, and for some you might think the model is mad. On some levels I would agree but it does work! So underwear is brought to this country, donated to Smalls and then I deliver or organise for it to be delivered to Africa? In a perfect world there wouldn’t be a need for Smalls to exist but whilst there is a need, and I’m being asked to provide underwear to hospitals, schools and orphanages then I will do my best to fulfil that need. Ideally we would not need to send underwear from one country to another, we would source and provide underwear in the country where it is needed, but during my 8 trips to Africa I’ve found this not to be possible, and trust me when I say I’ve investigated this. I’ve been to the shops, local markets and spoken to the women I know about it – it’s not just about the underwear being expensive, there is a real lack of underwear and many of the women go without or buy second hand at the local markets.
There are so many people to thank but if I was to name them all then this update would be pages long and I would be scared I missed someone. Hopefully you all know how grateful I am. I always write or email back “thank you” if I have an address for those of you who send underwear and monetary donations, but so many people help in other ways too. Fundraising, collecting underwear, sorting & bagging the underwear, raising awareness, standing in a field in Corstorphine on a Saturday morning trying to assemble a gazebo, the list could go on and on. So thank you all very much for all your help this year and since the start of Smalls. But it doesn’t really matter that I am grateful to you, far more important is the fact that the women and children we are helping are grateful and I know from my trips to deliver the underwear how grateful the woman and children are when I meet them.
Our distribution model works because of the kindness and generosity of The Balcraig Foundation, specifically Paul McNeil who has been an incredible supporter of Smalls. With the best will in the world there is no way I could have delivered 32,637 myself! Without the support of The Balcraig Foundation thousands of fistula patients being treated in hospitals supported by Balcraig, and children in Kenya would not have received underwear. Balcraig transport our donations of underwear, alongside their supplies, free of charge and make sure our underwear gets to those in need.
Paul and I met recently to talk about 2013 and it was lovely to hear how much our support, simply by providing underwear to their patients and children, means and to know that we have Balcraig’s continuing support.
With that support, and yours, I’m looking forward to planning some trips next year. Who knows, I might even persuade one or two of you to come with me! I’m really excited about 2013, Smalls has grown so much since 2009 and I’m pretty confident that there will be lots of positive things happening next year.
Hope you all have a pantastic Christmas, best wishes for 2013 and thank you so very much for all your support in 2012.