Helping the youth in the slums of Bangkok today, to help themselves tomorrow...






2007 PIE DRIVE


The 2007 Pie Drive was organised by Genevieve Bulluss with profits from sales donated to Sister Joan.

In this article which appeared in the May 2007 edition of ANZWG’s InTouch magazine, Genevieve describes what makes a pie drive a success.

The Pie Drive - an idea, execution and what a success!

The inaugural Pie Drive for Sister Joan has drawn to a close. Now many of you have your freezers filled to near bursting with delicious Aussie pies. Here I’d like to report on how the pie drive came about, who helped to make it happen, the results and where the funds raised are going.

Susan ‘Lady Pie’ Usher’s reputation for making ‘the best pies you’ve ever tasted’ reached me last July when I was still living in America. Then in December at the party on the last night of the King’s Cup Regatta Phuket, I got to try them for myself. Immediately I asked Susan if I could get her pies in Bangkok, to which she replied ‘Sure, I’ll send some to you’. After 2 years without ANY pies, it was great to know I could get some in Bangkok.

In the meantime, I had come across Sister Joan Evans, who lives & works in the Klong Toey slums, helping the children out of the slums and into schools so they can eventually create a better life for themselves. I had been volunteering with Sister Joan a little, and saw that she’s always needing money to help in whatever way it takes - buying school uniforms, paying school fees, giving the children bus and lunch money, food packages for the families so they have dinner, just to name a few of her activities. She is very good at stretching every satang, and could always do with a few more.

Then over Christmas, I got thinking of pies and Sister Joan. There must be more people like me in Bangkok who miss pies... why not do a pie fundraiser? Around New Year, I was in Phuket again and asked Lady Pie if we could do a fundraiser. At this stage it was just an idea. She asked me how many pies did I think I could sell. I was hoping about 1000 pies, which would raise about AUD$1000. Susan put this into practical numbers - if we sell 10 pies to 40 people, then that’s 400 pies, which sounded like a lot and a challenge to achieve, but definitely something to work towards.

After getting a few ideas of how to proceed from Karen Gray and Edward Dever, I put the details together and started selling pies at the Australia-Waitangi Day lunch organised by ANZWG at the Davis Hotel. The pies were a bit hit, with about 20 people placing orders. Slowly word got around and the following week at the ANZWG morning tea, another 10 orders were placed. There, just 2 weeks into the fundraiser, I had sold not 10, but an average of 30 pies to 30 people.

So as not to run the girls at the Lady Pie Bakery and Restaurant premises in Phuket off their feet at the last minute, I forwarded orders by text message and email to Susan regularly. Then on February 26th we had the first delivery of Lady Pie pies to the British Club for people to collect. After 3 days, almost all of the pies were picked up, and orders for the second delivery started to roll in.

The only major function in March where I sold pies was at the Combined Women’s Lunch held at the Dusit Thani on International Women’s Day, again an event organised by ANZWG. I sold over 260 pies that day. Yet for the month of March, despite having only one major function, I placed orders with Lady Pie for over 1200 pies. Word had got around and I was receiving phone calls for orders, meeting people for coffee to collect orders, and a few cheques were sent in the mail. By now I was bumping into people who would say to me ‘Oh, you’re the pie girl. Are there any left? Is it too late to place an order?’

There are many groups of people and organisations to thank for helping to make this pie drive such a great success. A big thank you to the following organisations who provided free advertising in their magazines or email distribution lists: Australian-New Zealand Women’s Group (ANZWG), British Club Bangkok, American Women’s Club, Social Women In Bangkok (SWIB), Bangkok Network of Women (BNOW) and the photocopies of the flyers and order forms were done by Allens Arthur Robinson.

Our storage and distribution point for the pies was the British Club Bangkok. A very big thank you to the British Club. The assistance and patience of all the staff made everything run as smooth as possible and we could not have run the pie drive without their help.

The first delivery of pies was generously done by Fresh & Wild and particular thanks must go to Keith Bell and his staff for their patience and effort with the required paperwork at the airport.

Many thanks to the Sailors at Ocean Marina Yacht Club who emptied their pockets and donated generously towards both the purchase of pies and donations directly to Sister Joan. Many thanks to the Aussie blokes and kids, whom are apparently the biggest consumers of the pies sold at this pie drive - many mums said their kids and hubbies would kill for a good Australian pie! And to all of you who helped by making suggestions and enjoying the pies so much!!!

And what was the result? We raised over Baht 110,000 for Sister Joan. And where is the money going? Sister Joan will use the funds in her educational projects. Here are a few costs so you can see how far a little bit goes:

* 100 baht a week per child will give them food and bus money for school
* 800 baht will provide a child with school uniforms, shoes, socks and bag.

For further information about other Lady Pie products, see www.ladypie.com.

You’ve now seen how a small amount of baht can go a long way to helping Sister Joan continue her work. If you missed out on contributing through the Pie Drive, then please consider making a small donation directly to Sister Joan. You can send donations directly to Sister Joan via mail or PayPal. Sister Joan also welcomes offers of volunteer help.

Genevieve Bulluss
May 2007

Lady Pie's website - www.ladypie.com


Sister Joan with Genevieve Bulluss (L) and
Susan 'Lady Pie' Usher (R)

Unloading the pies at the British Club, Bangkok

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