charity bike ride: hands across the water

I'm riding 500km in 5 days

Hands Across The Water logo


From 16th – 21st April 2024, I, Lisa Thomas, will participate in a charity bike ride with ‘Hands Across The Water’ and ‘Business Blueprint’, raising money for orphanages in Thailand, that look after orphaned, abandoned and ill children.

Participating in the ride is no mean feat!  It entails riding 500km in 5 days in the Thai heat; committing to fundraising a minimum of $5000 for the charity (of which 100% gets to the orphanages and kids!), as well as funding my own flights to Thailand and back, and paying all costs associated with doing the ride!  But I like a challenge!  😉

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‘Hands Across The Water’ charity was formed in 2005, in the aftermath of the Boxing Day tsunami.  The initial goal was to support the building of a home for Thai children left without someone to care for them.  The suport from the charity expanded its reach to areas beyond those affected by the tsunami and in 2010 commenced supporting children in a home is Yasothon who were HIV positive or had lost thier parents to HIV, or both.  The growth of the work of the charity continued to support a number of well established Thai foundations and today Hands Across The Water operates seven different properties across Thailand.

Hands Across The Water Thai Foundation was formed and is a registered foundation with local authorities and complies with the Thai government regulations.  The foundation has a board of directors and is the legal entity that owns a number of the properties in Thailand in which it operates.  Its operations in Thailand have been endorsed by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Hands Across the Water has raised in excess of $25 million AUD and 100% of those funds have gone to the communities they support in Thailand and continues to contribute more than $2 million per year, making it the largest ongoing contribution to Thailand from any Australian or New Zealand charity.  This has been possible through the unique structure of having a social enterprise ‘Hands Group’ underwrite the operating and fundraising costs of the charity.

Hands Across The Water provide food, a safe home and an education for the children. They empower the children and staff, while respecting their culture and acknolwedge that the best people to raise Thai kids are Thais, and provide the resources they need to help the children develop in a nurturing and loving way. They do not operate from a religious or political standpoint.    They believe that all things being equal, the best place for children is with their family. But when things aren’t equal, or those opportunities don’t exist, then they provide solutions.


When first suggesting the idea of participating in the ride to my husband, his first reaction was a look of stunned silence, followed by “you’re kidding, right?”  Not because of the personal cost to participate, he was fine with that, but because he knew of my physical issues that would make it extremely difficult.  The ride is quite challenging both mentally and physically for most people, and has been completed by people of all ages, many much older than me. Previously I have sat back and watched Business Blueprint members and business owners participate in the charity bike ride year after year with the mindset that ‘I can’t do that, it’s too difficult and I’m too broken!’ But not any more!  I have decided that 2023 is my year to get outside my comfort zone and take on challenges that push me way past my limits, and this one will definitely be challenging me in that regard!

You see, not only have I not ridden a bike for 16 years, I have had 2 shoulder surgeries (the most recent in early 2023), spinal surgery/fusion to the neck and I manage fibromyalgia (a chronic pain condition) on a daily basis.  Pretty much all the things that aren’t conducive to long distance bike riding!  But nevertheless, I have signed up and I am going to give it a right royal crack!   (here I am below, post shoulder op and beginning to aclimatise the butt to the bike seat!)  Will I find it difficult?  Hell yes!  Am I afraid of failing? Absolutely.  But It’s not going to stop me giving it all I’ve got!

Hands Across The Water - let the training begin

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I would LOVE your support!  PLEASE!   I’m not sure if I’m more scared of the pain or the fundraising, to be totally honest.  I’ve never been good at asking people for money, although I have no problem giving when people ask.  So again, this is something that is pushing me outside of my comfort zone, but I know it is for an amazing cause, plus all donations are 100% tax deductible…so give it to my fundraising instead of the tax man!  😉   THANK YOU SO MUCH!  xx

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i’ll make you a deal:  $100 of yours for A us$500 hotel savings card!

For every donation of $100 or more I will give a Book VIP Plus hotel savings card worth US$500 (around AUD $720+)!  And no, it’s not a scam!  I’ve done a quick little video to show you how to use your hotel savings card.  >>>  VIEW BOOK VIP PLUS VIDEO

When you have made a donation, I will automatically receive your name and email address.  That is all I need to process your hotel savings card.  Essentially the value will be loaded into your own Book VIP Plus account and you can search for hotels anywhere in the world and use some of the credit towards the booking.  Prices are comparable to other booking sites like Expedia, etc., and are constantly updated with a live comparison links for you to see.  The video will show more.  You may be able to allocate the entire amount of your hotel savings card credit to one booking, or you can use it towards multiple bookings – fantastic if you are planning a trip away and need to book a few different places.

Hotel savings card

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Following is a YouTube clip of the last Business Blueprint / Hands Across The Waters charity bike ride.  I’m not in this, of course, but it shows the amazing Business Blueprint business owners giving it their all for this amazing charity.  Over $300,000 was raised in this one bike ride, which is phenomenal!  I can’t wait to be part of this wonderful event and being able to do my bit for the kids.   Thank you so much for your donation.  xx

Here’s the link to watch in YouTube: