The Daily Explorer

Calling All Angels

Ivana 8

My name is Ivana Getachek and I have been running Ray’s fundraising campaign programme since it started in July 2009. After extensively travelling around the world and finding many people and projects that could really benefit from some financial support, he took part in the 2009 New York Marathon. Since then, his Calling All Angels Fund has donated over $15,000 dollars to three worthy causes.

Above: Amber Solaire met Ray in Chiang Mai in 2009 to find out more about the kick-off project in his “Calling All Angels” Campaign

 

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Amount raised so far:  $15,275.00

With his hugely ambitious “Calling All Angels” campaign, Ray is aiming to reach thousands of people around the world and inspire everyone about his mission! Below is some important information about the aims of his campaign. If you would like to, you can still give us your valuable support by making a donation!

Who receives the money raised from Ray’s Marathon Campaign?

Ray raises money on behalf of three organisations: The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), the Namaste Childrens House in Nepal and the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. I interviewed him when I joined to find out why he had chosen them as beneficiaries.

“Lets start with the World Cancer Research Fund” said Ray. “In the last few years, I have become much more aware of the impact of cancer on people’s lives, as three very close friends have suffered from it and another lost her life earlier this year” he told me. “When Man of a Thousand Days was published in 2008, it contained a photograph of Elizabeth Taylor, who has been a close friend of mine for over 25 years. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Following extensive medical treatment, she made a remarkable recovery” said Ray happily. “Another close friend, Sarah Reid was also receiving treatment for early breast cancer and has also responded well to it” added Ray. “There are more people I know who have suffered – sadly, too many to mention them all here” said Ray. “And some were not fortunate enough to recover – I used to work with a lovely lady called Jelly Blount and although we were not especially close, we got to know each other quite well in recent years. Jelly died earlier this year and we dedicated the Seven Days in Tibet issue of this publication to her. The money we have raised is a fantastic way of honouring her and supporting the WCRF to find new ways to prevent people from ever having this terrible disease” he told me.

ET & Small Pea - 1st hourCelebrations, Friends and Trip to Apostles! April 09 0489 Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner

 Above: Ray raises money on behalf of the World Cancer Research Fund, to support their work in preventing people from having this awful disease. Ray’s close friend, Elizabeth Taylor (left) was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and has made a full recovery, whilst Sarah Reid (centre) has also responded well to treatment. Sadly, Jelly Blount (right) died earlier this year. Ray has honoured her and all cancer sufferers by raising a substantial sum for the WCRF

Located between the huge countries of India and China, Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with 42% of its population living below the poverty line. “When I went there at the end of 2008, some of the statistics I came across were frightening” Ray told me. “For example, 27,000 children die of dysentery every year, 73% of women 15 years or older are illiterate and 2.6 million children are engaged in different sectors of child labour. As if that isn’t bad enough, over 5,000 children are working and living on the streets” added our disturbed traveller. “Nepal also has the number one child disappearance rate in the world” he told me. The Namaste Childrens House was one place I visited personally and it really opened up my heart” said Ray. “The home is dedicated to providing love, education, healthcare, nutrition, and a solid sense of family, community and cultural identity to the orphaned and needy children of Pokhara, Nepal.

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Above: The Namaste Childrens House orphanage in Pokhara (left). The organisation receives no government funding and survives entirely on donations and people volunteering their help. This poster on the wall (right) shows what they can do with money that is given – “We take so much for granted in the west” said Ray. “Travelling to places like this makes me continually realise how fortunate we are. I would like to thank everybody who has made a donation and provided desperately needed funding to the Namaste Childrens Home” added our grateful fundraiser 

Below: In December 2008, Ray and his friend Nikki (third from the right) organised a picnic for about 35-40 kids, members of staff and other volunteers from the Namaste Childrens House on a nearby hillside, so that everyone could have a fun day out – “We fell in love with these kids and really want to help them as much as we can” said Ray

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Above: “Like all of us, these orphaned children just want to be loved and feel that they are part of a family” said Ray. “My heart goes out to them and I am delighted that we are able to help Visma Raj Paudel – who runs the home – to boost their finances so he and his dedicated staff can do more for them. If you would like to know more about the orphanage, I urge you to read From Pokhara to Patan and if you would like to watch a short film of our picnic with the kids, you can watch the video clip below:

Last but not least, some of the money raised goes to the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand. “Lek Chailert is the tiny, courageous Thai woman who founded this project and she is one of the world’s great ‘unknown’ heroines, although I am certain this will change” said Ray, when he told me more about the place. “Established in the 1990’s, this place is unique. Lek’s aim has always been to provide a sanctuary and rescue centre for distressed elephants” explained Ray. “When I first went there, what I discovered was both profound and disturbing in equal measure. Elephants are only of interest to their owners for commercial gain and consequently, they are frequently beaten, drugged, abused and made to suffer considerable stress and pain from being overworked. Young elephants have their spirits ‘broken’ by humans in order to make them obedient – a cruel and inhumane practice that has been the tradition for hundreds of years. Even the cute video’s you see on YouTube, of elephants painting pictures, have only been possible because the animals have been beaten or punished in their training to make them perform. These animals are offered no protection whatsoever by the government and there is very little motivation to change the status quo as many people make their living through the exploitation of these creatures” explained Ray. “Lek Chailert is changing all of this and putting herself at considerable risk in order to do so. I really wanted to support her to continue the amazing work she is doing in creating what she refers to as “Heaven for Elephants”. By making their donations to our “Calling All Angels” campaign, our readers help to make sure these creatures will be safe from harm for years to come” said Ray.

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Above: Sangduen “Lek” Chailert is the founder of the Elephant Nature Park (left and centre). Her nickname (Lek) means “small one”. At the Nature Park, she and her staff of mahouts (elephant handlers), veterinarians and volunteers tend to elephants that have suffered wounds or abuse by their owners, so that the animals can live naturally (right), as they do in the wild (Photo: Azriel Cohen). The park has received numerous awards from institutions including the Smithsonian in the USA – “It is incredible to witness what Lek has been able to accomplish through simply loving these animals – they absolutely adore her” said Ray. To get a deeper understanding of what this place is all about, take a look at one of our previous issues from 2008, called Elephants and Lions. Ray returned for a second visit to the park in April 2009 and our fitness correspondent, Me So Fit published the details and some stunning pictures in “Return to Elephant Heaven

Below: Ray’s friends Nic Meredith and Azriel Cohen (left) visit Chiang Mai and enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity (with Lek around) to schmoozle a 25 day old baby elephant while his mother stood quietly and patiently – something that would never have happened in the wild. Many elephants that find their way to Lek’s sanctuary are hurt. One of them (centre) had its right foot blown off by a landmine on the Burmese border. And Ray was taken aback when one friendly member of the elephant community planted a smacker on his cheek (right)

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Map Chiang Mai

Above: This map shows the location of the Elephant Nature Park, within close proximity of Chiang Mai

Below: “Elephants eat a huge amount of food – up to 200 kilogrammes per day” said Ray. “The local markets (left) supply whole truckloads of food that can no longer be sold. It is fine for the elephants and should be just about enough to feed all 35 of them for one day!” he told me. “It costs about $250,000 US dollars per year to run the sanctuary and there is no government funding, so every penny needs to be created by Lek and her team. Thankfully, there is a queue of people who pay to volunteer there, and there are many other ways in which people can contribute to her amazing work” added Ray

Why is Ray’s campaign named “Calling All Angels”?

The name was inspired by a song from a film called “Pay It Forward” which our global explorer saw a few years ago. “It really captivated my imagination when I watched it” said Ray. “Its about an 11 year old boy called Trevor, who is set an assignment by his school teacher (Kevin Spacey) in which he is asked to think of one idea, which if implemented, could change the world! The teacher sets the assignment largely to help his pupils develop a sense of possibility, not really believing that they might actually come up with a viable idea. But Trevor comes up with a superb concept, in which he chooses three people and tries to persuade each of them to perform a major kindness for three other people, who in turn all have to do the same – like a giant, mushrooming ‘kindness’ pyramid scheme! It sounds crazy, but it is a wonderful story which affects the lives of everybody in a way and on a scale that no-one could possibly have imagined. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it” said Ray. “Another reason the “Calling All Angels” campaign is so called is because we all have the ability to make a difference to others if we choose to – everyone who chooses to make a donation instantly becomes an ‘angel’ to the people who receive their gift”.

You can watch a trailer for “Pay It Forward” below:

I would like to make a donation – is there a minimum amount?

Absolutely not! Please give whatever you can afford or feel comfortable with. “A few of my sponsors are from the corporate world and work for organisations who are able to donate substantial sums” said Ray, “which is great for our campaign. And many more of my donors are personal friends, members of my family or people who just hear about what I am doing and really want to contribute. Some of this money goes to people who live on less than a couple of dollars per day so every little bit helps” added Ray.

Why are online donations in US dollars?

There are two reasons. The first is that the US dollar is one of the most accepted currencies in the world. The second is to do with being able to monitor and report on how well our campaign is progressing. In the last seven years, Ray has visited no less than 21 countries on his travels and his personal network has grown enormously. The Daily Explorer regularly receives around 2,000 visitors every month from all over the globe. We are anticipating that some people will want to donate in different currencies. For tracking purposes, we have adopted the US dollar as our benchmark currency. If we receive any donations in a different currency, we will convert the value of each one into dollars and add it to our total.

How do I make a donation?

By far the easiest way to make your donation is by clicking on the button below and using your credit card. You will need to choose the amount you wish to donate in US dollars so you may need to check the current exchange rate with your own currency first.

 

DONATE HERE NOW!

Note: You have the option when making a donation using this method to send a message to Ray with it

For anyone who does not have a credit card, we set up a secure bank account for our campaign with Cater Allen Private Bank, who are kindly supporting Ray to handle donations from people who wish to make a direct transfer from their online bank account. They can accept online transfers in any currency. Depending on your country of residence, we will need to give you all of the relevant transfer details. We cannot publish these on this site for security reasons, so please email me with your details at ivana@thedailyexplorer.com and I will send them to you. If you would like to pay by cheque, please send me an email and I will give you the relevant details. If there is anyone who wants to make their donation in cash, this may be possible and we would probably need to make a special arrangement to collect it from you! Please email me with your contact details at ivana@thedailyexplorer.com.

If anyone would like to speak directly to Ray about any aspect of this campaign or get more information from him about any of the organisations he supports, then email him at ray@thedailyexplorer.com with your contact details so he can get in touch with you.

How can I find out how much has been raised so far?

At any time, you can email me at ivana@thedailyexplorer.com and I will let you know exactly how many dollars have been raised. The amount raised will also be updated right here:

Amount raised so far:  $15,275.00

I would like to speak to Ray before I make a donation. How do I arrange this?

If anyone would like to speak directly to Ray about any aspect of this campaign or get more information from him about any of the organisations he supports, you can email him at ray@thedailyexplorer.com with your contact details and availability and he will get in touch with you (alternatively, Daily Explorer readers who are on his ‘Friends’ email list can call him directly by using the telephone numbers published in any of the recent updates that have been sent out by Mozzie Byte).

Cover Runners World

Above: The cover of the June 2009 issue of Runners World

Editors Note: Our thanks to Ivana Getachek for joining the team and managing our “Calling All Angels” campaign for Ray. If you have donated to our campaign already, it is much appreciated. If you would like to make a donation, please use the button below – and many thanks indeed from all of us!

Ray ran the New York Marathon on the 1st November 2009. His official time was 4 hours, 16 minutes and 29 seconds. It was his first (and probably last!) attempt at running this distance. The full story of how it all happened can be viewed at: 256 New York Minutes.

MOZZIE BYTE

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 Above: “Please, please get involved with me, Ray and this campaign. Together, we are making such a huge difference” said Ivana Getacheck, our campaign manager. If you would like to talk to Ivana, you can reach her at ivana@thedailyexplorer.com

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10 Comments »

  1. Hello Ray and all at the Daily Explorer! I loved the video of you! You are looking sleek and amazingly healthy, in your boots with your heart on your sleeve in a confident way. I am absolutely clear about what you want from me as a sponsor and how I can help. I am just mega impressed at the organisation behind your latest venture, and was especially touched by your thought that if you do something life changing, it gives you permission to ask for help to help change the lives of others. Seems fair and just, and also absolutely equitable. It’s clear that your heart is in the right place and you have created order and structure behind your purpose, and I can only support you and hope that my sponsorship makes a difference to your life changing venture. I hope you bust your $6,500 target and that cash gushes towards your worthy causes. Especially the Namaste Childrens House, which I have a particularly delicate soft spot for.

    Comment by Charlie — June 4, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  2. I’m not sure I can add to Charlie’s comment, which I totally endorse. The video clip is especially endearing with the genuineness that is completely ‘you’, engendering the trust that you will not only complete the marathon for others but also for yourself. I wish you fun and enjoyment in training for this great event and will be watching in November to see if I can ‘spot’ you in the runners! Appreciating that you no doubt have a marketing plan, please let all of us know how you’d like us to pass the information on your run forward, other than simply endorsing what you are doing and using our own contact lists. I have already passed the Daily Explorer link on to several friends. Much love, Helena xxx

    Comment by Helena Dennison — June 7, 2009 @ 9:13 am

  3. Watched the film – lovely idea but too sad!! Good luck with the fund raising!!

    Comment by Kate — June 16, 2009 @ 9:39 am

  4. Thanks Ray for doing this. Your energy and commitment are always an inspiration. I lost a family member to breast cancer earlier this year and I think the other charities involved are equally inspiring. Happy certainly to pass on the message and I know this can really take off for you. Also much love to Charlie and Sarah especially – hope to catch up with them in Oz later this year. And Hi! to everyone else hope you are all enjoying health. xxx

    Comment by Pauline Swift — June 20, 2009 @ 10:31 am

  5. Ray! I have known you for almost 30 years now and you’ve always been someone I respect and appreciate. Recently, since you you started wandering the planet, I’ve seen you develop into an extraordinarily inspirational man who touches many lives in a positive way. I wish you all the courage, strength and wisdom you need to keep going onward and upward. Thank you for being my friend and including me in your life. Me and Karin are donating tonight.

    Comment by Michael Banks — July 2, 2009 @ 6:57 am

  6. Greetings from Koh Samui, the Spa where I work. As I went through your story today, I wish to tell you that I will make a donation in the next one month. I absolutely love the one with the elephant, and the orphanages. With the cancer foundation I have a bit of trouble, as so rarely do they tell people to change their diet, and live healthy, meditate, laugh and all the real good things. This is where cancer research should really go. War against cancer does not work, neither does war on drugs, war against terrorism, etc… We need to ask ourselves why is it we attracted whatever we got. All the very best and hopefully one day I will serve you a round of good Oolongtea, and you will be able to write another great story for your blog. I give the address of your blog out to anyone who comes from now on to my tea ceremonys at the Spa, as your site really rocks. Love, Light, Health, Success, Wisdom and Happiness wishes to you.
    San-bao

    Comment by San-bao — July 7, 2009 @ 7:26 am

  7. Hi Ray – Kathy Shine (aka Murray) here from Ireland – the thing I love about you is your ability to always “do it large” – my love and support is with you and one day perhaps we can embark on a journey together xxxxx You are a ray of sunshine!!!

    Comment by Kathy Murray Shine — August 5, 2009 @ 9:54 pm

  8. Ray – Good luck. Pondering on this, I think it’s easy to simply delete requests for donations but in the grand scheme of our daily lives, money means very little to us. £50 or £100 can be spent in the blink of an eye and mean nothing and yet spent elsewhere, it changes lives. It’s not just the causes or just the fact that it’s you – for me it’s about making a small difference wherever I can.

    Best of Luck once again. Ian x

    Comment by Ian Roberts — August 31, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

  9. Good luck with the fund raising Ray… you deserve to reach your goal and you will… I can’t wait to see the Elephant sanctuary myself. I’ll probably want to adopt one and take it back to my beach hut on Bang Por knowing me! Love you! X

    Comment by Susie Cream — September 9, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  10. It was good to hear from you and yes, a surprise. I made a small donation but I suppose every little bit helps. It looks like you have already exceeded your goal and that is absolutely fantastic. Cheers to Regina and Nick for heading to New York to cheer you on. How little I really know about you dear friend so maybe we will have to chat soon. Me, still traveling and busy with some great US and international franchise clients. Did you know I went to Bangkok at the request of the Thai Trade Commission and gave a workshop on franchising. I loved it and the people. Run well, run swiftly and run for your causes Ray. Love, Shery

    Comment by Shery Christopher — October 30, 2009 @ 4:02 am


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