We never get too worried when it comes to packing for trips. We don’t use packing lists and we generally leave our packing until the night before. Our view is that if we forget something or don’t take enough clothes, we can always buy something when we get there. If we take too much, we can always send things to family or give something away.
Because we’re pretty much travelling continuously, we end up giving away a lot, especially if we’re travelling to a different climate, new season or the opposite hemisphere. We’ll often give clothes to guides we use or staff at the hotels or holiday rentals we stay at. I recently gave a lot of leftover groceries and a few t-shirts to a Bangkok street food vendor we befriended.
In Cape Town, I gave some summery shoes to the housekeeper of the beautiful holiday home we stayed at. The shoes were a good brand and in good shape, but we were going into a northern hemisphere winter and I probably wouldn’t wear them for six months. It made sense to give them to someone who would.
The housekeeper was over the moon and told me so. She put them on right away, and wore them about all morning as she cleaned the house. “I love these!” she gushed appreciatively with a huge smile. To know my second-hand gift was so gratefully appreciated made me want to give more things away more often.
So when Janet Chan, the PR-Marketing Manager from Siem Reap’s Hôtel De La Paix, where we recently stayed, emailed me last night to ask if we’d support their ‘Share Your Shirt’ Campaign, we jumped at the chance.
The splendid Hôtel de la Paix (which we’ll tell you about in another post) supports many community projects in Siem Reap. This time they’ve teamed up with Cambodian non-profit NGO ABOUTAsiaSchools, which provides immediate, targeted aid to Cambodian children and schools.
The rainy season is well underway in Cambodia and the humidity is making short work of the locals’ clothing. The people in the greatest need, such as those living on the poor outskirts of Siem Reap (called “the garbage belt”), simply can’t afford to buy new clothes, not even a simple t-shirt. Their priority is feeding their family.
‘Share Your Shirt’ is an invitation to people like us to dig into the bottom of our suitcases or backpacks, tip out our drawers, and reach into the back of the wardrobe, to dig out those clothes we no longer wear and no longer need. You can post your t-shirt or if you’re in Siem Reap, you can drop it by the hotel or even buy a local t-shirt if you prefer, and therefore ‘give back’ twice.
Hôtel de la Paix will collect the donated clothing, which they’ll give to ABOUTAsia Schools to distribute to those who need it most. All donations are welcome, but especially smaller sizes, as the need for new clothes is greatest among rural children such as those pictured above.
Post your shirts to:
Hôtel de la Paix
Siem Reap Cambodia.
For further info, contact:
Hôtel de la Paix
+855 63 966 000