Eight years ago Thunderbird Show Park teamed up with JustWorld International for their “Adopt a Project” campaign, adopting the People Improvement Organization (PIO) Rice for Families Program in Cambodia. Through the generosity of the horse show, riders, and guests, they have raised more than $157,000 since the partnership originated.
All of the funds Thunderbird raises support the JustWorld partner project, People Improvement Organization (PIO), in Cambodia. JustWorld currently funds the operational costs of a Kindergarten – 6th Grade school, providing qualified teachers, educational materials, daily lunches, and rice allotments for families as an incentive to keep their children in school.
Thunderbird specifically supports the Rice for Families Program at PIO. Each student with good attendance receives 5 kg of rice each month for their family which significantly reduces the need for the children to gather food scraps or pick through trash to earn money for their families instead of going to school. Thunderbird helps give 650 of PIO’s children the ability to go to school with the proper nutrition and tools for success.
This year, Thunderbird’s goal was to surpass $30,000 to support the Rice for Families Program for a full year. JustWorld and Thunderbird organized a ‘Clear the Jump’ initiative where spectators and riders alike pledged to donate to JustWorld each time the JustWorld jump in the ring was successfully cleared during the competition. Another fundraising initiative held during the August show was a silent auction which included a Vancouver Giants Suite for 30 guests, Maui Jim sunglasses and fantastic Thunderbird packages, such as a complete stall prize with feed and bedding. Thanks to Calgary Saddlery, participants also had the opportunity to win a special drawing for a custom pair of Parlanti boots. With the generous donations of vendors, local supporters, and of course Thunderbird Show Park, the initiatives helped to successfully reach Thunderbird’s fundraising goal.
Steel-Craft Door Productions, LTD, generously donated the salaries for PIO’s two cooks for the year to help support the school lunch program. The cooks prepare balanced, nutritious meals for 650 students for 256 days a year, providing more than 166,400 meals. PIO offers more school days than the public school system to more fully support these students’ needs.
Thunderbird is not stopping there- they plan to continue raising vital funds throughout the month of September as well. Additionally, the Tbird team is planning on organizing a trip with their staff to visit JustWorld’s Guatemalan partner, Los Patojos, to see the direct impact they have on the program. If you would like to join a future site visit to see the difference you are making, contact us for more information. Together, we can help more children around the world have a brighter future.
JustWorld would like to thank the entire Thunderbird Show Park team for their unwavering support and dedication to providing hope for children around the world!