A Triage-Based Outreach Project for the Most Vulnerable Villagers

In 2019 we extended our reach to help the most vulnerable people living near wild elephants in central Sri Lanka, and in 2020 those efforts expanded during the global pandemic to include the Stateless Migrant Workers living on the Andaman Coast of Thailand. This Passion Project was born when a kind monk introduced us to a young boy named Isuru…

Isuru and his mother live alone in a hot and dark brick house, and although Isuru cannot walk or talk or sit up or eat by himself, he sure can smile and laugh, and when you visit him his eyes will follow you everywhere. We knew right when we met them that we could not turn away, and started immediately fundraising for a wheelchair, a mattress, a fan, a radio, and 3 months of food in bulk.

And just like that, Service With Heart was born! 

In the same village where Isuru lives, we brought clothing, school supplies, and household goods to over 150 people, Next, we dug deep and raised 75,000LKR to work alongside the local government GS of the village delivering food to hungry families just in time for Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese New Year.  We repeated that “Family Food” donation in October, ensuring the hungriest families had enough food to get through the monsoon season.

For the last 16 months we have been in Thailand, unable to travel back to Sri Lanka or Cambodia as we cannot get vaccinated, and unable to return to Myanmar due to the coup as well.  Although even domestic travel has been sometimes impossible with Covid-closures, and relentlessly challenging with check points, we’ve continued to bring support to our Thai and Burmese friends who are struggling the most.  Sometimes just a basket of necessities such as rice, salt, cooking oil, matches, soap, a tarp and mosquito netting can make the difference between a family succumbing to the additional hardships brought on by the pandemic, or being able to hold on as we work for, and hope for, the world righting itself once again.

Unless you’ve lived where there is little, a mattress may not seem like that big of a deal, a bag of rice may lack inspiration, and a fan may seem like an “extra”.  But when you have been sleeping on a thin mat upon wooden slats or your disabled son cannot brush the flies off of his face,  suddenly a mattress and a fan become a big deal indeed. And the food deliveries?  Nobody should go hungry, and when the deliveries target homes with women and children living alone with almost no options or choices for a different future, food becomes sustenance of many kinds.

When the pandemic hit we were stuck in Thailand near Stateless Burmese workers who, overnight, were not only out of work but also stuck in a country that was not their home. With closed borders keeping them from returning to their home villages, trapped in an area where they were not recognized, and thus unable to receive any government support, we knew we had to help bring food to these displaced migrants.

Once again, your support allowed Service with Heart to create a ripple effect of Compassionate Action. Knowing there are people who care about you, even if they don’t know you, is the simple premise of Service With Heart — do what you can, wherever you are, and help create a kinder world.

Bringing food to families in need doesn’t have to be for a lifetime. Oftentimes families in transition just need a little help to get through a rough patch, and once on their feet again the help can be directed to another family. Food fills not just the belly, but the heart as well.
The day we met Isuru and his mother was the day we knew we couldn’t focus only on helping groups of people—that sometimes you have to help people one by one. Our ongoing visits confirm what we suspected–that lending a hand is not a “hand out”, but rather a direct approach to widening the circle of compassion.
We met this little girl a week after her father was killed as he attempted to save his rice from a crop-raiding elephant. Sometimes a little extra help can make all the difference in the world, and then she can go make a difference in the world too.
When a 2-legged elephant rocks up to your home with a little bit of happy help, you know it’s going to be a very good day!

Help Us Reach Those In Need!

The common thread is good people coming together to create a wave of Compassionate Action. Your donation can change lives, and not “someday”, but right now.  Thank you for caring about families you have never met—they are deeply grateful, and we are too!