Monday, February 8, 2010

Help.....I need your UNDIES!!!

Ok....ok....I'll come clean...I don't need your undies but an orphanage in Vietnam needs some BRAND SPANKING NEW KNICKERS!!!!!

I propose an UNDIE RUN! But.....I need your help to do it!!

Next time you're at the supermarket please purchase some children or adolescent undergarments and post them to........

"Undie Run"
Vietnam Orphans Treasure Chest
Dennis and Inge Edwards
7 Park Street
Victoria Australia 3435

CUT OFF DATE Saturday 20th March!!!

Note : If you purchase a pack of 5 unwrap them and post them FLAT...this will save you some postage charges. DO NOT send them to me...that would just take up time and resources!!!

Australian Readers : If you would prefer to send a cheque please write it out to Dennis and Inge Edwards.

Heres the full story below, as it was given to me. Please note.....In italic you will notice some comments of my own...this is to give you an insight into why I have chosen to support this cause.


The Edwards family comprising of myself Dennis, and my children Nathan, Liona, Sally, Milly and my daughter in-law Linda are off to Vietnam in April 2010 in an effort to try to help the Orphans to make their world just a little better. I served my tour of Vietnam in 1969/70 as a member of the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (R.A.E.M.E) as a regular Army soldier serving in Nui Dat. (My dad's birthday is on the 18th of Feb, both the 17th and 19th of Feb born were conscripted to go...this could have been my dad)

I was the specialist Welder (Dad was a welder) employed to repair and maintain the Army's equipment. During my tour at the ripe old age of 20 (all I can think of is that song.....Redgum....I was only 19) I found myself at the Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat where 5000 men were tasked with patrolling and taking ownership for the entire Phuoc Tuy Province.

Often unable to sleep, due to constant battle activities of the Australian task force base, combined with the intense heat and the discomfort of sleeping in tents with sand bag walls, I would seek approval to work at night. I was directed to talk with the Australian Task Force Welfare Officer, who was always around the base sourcing things to be repaired or made for his work in civilian aid to the war effort.

Discussions were fruitful and permission was granted that we could design and manufacture playground equipment for the local orphanages. We made swings, slippery dips, seesaws and giant slides for these kids. I think we manufactured about 12 sets. It generated so much interest that the entire General Engineering Workshop team got right behind the project and we then visited all of the orphanages in the Phuoc Tuy Province and gave them a parcel of red, yellow and blue painted playground sets. Obviously we were in an agressive war zone so we had to request armed infantry escorts to successfully achieve this goal. (I just think this is the most magical thing someone can do for someone else in a war zone........BUT...its war....keep'll get a shock in a minute and you will find the next bit will stay with you for a while.)

Unfortunately we found that many of these orphanages were later destroyed by the Viet Cong and we now know that the Nuns and Teachers were killed and raped because of their association with the Australian Army, as we were considered their enemy. (I'm sorry....I have no words here.....just tears) This fact has haunted me for years, so it is with great pride and pleasure that today I am able to return to this country and give some of my personal time to the Orphans of today. The motivation factor that set me on this pilgrimage is when I first return to Vietnam in 2007, I found the current generation of Orphans still swinging on many of my swings and riding my slippery dips that I made for these orphanages 38 years ago! (I can beleive kids swing on a swing that dad made my sisters and I 36 years ago!!! even has its own squeak!)

So I am now appealing to you, my community, to HELP me to put together seven (7) packages of wares to ship over to Vietnam to be ready for my family and I to arrive mid April. We will spend two weeks visiting and working in outlying orphanages in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Dah Lat, Nah Trang, Baria and Vung Tau.

The background of the Orphanages that I have chosen :

These Orphanages are off the beaten track, and generally not that well supported by the Communist Government. The general facilities are very promitive and the carers are usually Nuns and volunteers with little or no experience of dealing with Children, especially babies. The average child ratio at the Orphanages we will visit this time is approximately 25 - 50 babies under the age of 1 year and approximately 50 - 70 children ranging in ages from 2 - 17 years old.

Items we require :

* Feeding Bottles
* Bottle sterilization Kits
* Bottle teats
* Sterilization fluid
* Milk formula
* Savlon cream
* Calamine lotion
* Mercurochrome
* Baby food in jars with long use by dates
* Two minute noodles
* Disposable nappies
* Baby Singlets
* Clothing - summer new or second hand clean cotton or denim
* Hair brushes/combs/hair clips/hair ties
* Toothbrushes/toothpaste
* Bassinette & cot linen - cotton
* Bassinettes
* Bouncinettes
* Portable cots
* Hanging mobiles
* School supplies : rulers, pencils, erasers, coloured pencils
* Story Books - clean second hand
* Exercise books for school work
* Aussie Toys - Koalas, Kangaroos, etc
* Swing & Playground equipment (small)
* Bikes/scooters - in working order
* Hand wash / disinfectant
* Rubber gloves - Small/Medium/Large

Please note the shipping container needs to be packed full by late March in order for it to arrive in Vietnam by April, so cut off date has been set for 20 March 2010.

I am sure between us we can lend a hand to the Edwards Family... Yell out if you want any more details.
Oh...if anyone would like to steal my image for your blog, please feel free...there is no need to ask, just link it back...Thank you xx


Amy Paul said...

Oh Leonie.

I'm in big on this one.

Undies you say? How bout 2 large boxes of quality baby clothes and softies and linen that I was looking to give away to someone deserving.

I will also chuck in a pack of undies.

Will let you know how I go.

xx Amy

Leonie Guld said...

GO FOR IT!!!! Just send it to Mr and Mrs Edwards, they would LOVE to receive some additional treasures!!! Thanks Amy!! xx

Thereisabuttonmissing said...

Leonie this is fabulous. Thankyou so much for spreading the word.

Rie said...

Brilliant idea!
I don't mind popping some kids stuff into my trolley next time I'm at supermarket.
I figure if everyone did a little then it will turn out to be a lot!

Andrew Needham said...

Wow, what a great idea, we run a business in the UK called and we have a big box of high quality undies for boys aged 7-16.

I will investigate sending these out to you and perhaps try and get a campaign message across to our many thousands of newsletter subscribers.

PurpleMum said...

Hi Leonie,

I have just read your post on the Undie Run, and was very touched. Is it possible to drop things off in person to Dennis? My partner is going to the airport tomorrow, and he would be more than happy to go via Lancefield to drop off a parcel for me. That way I can send more, as I don't have to post it.Please let me know!

Pam in Horsham