Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Doug comes to the rescue

I was really pleased to see an article on the newswires yesterday which highlighted the efforts of one man to almost single-handedly drag the Cambodian fire-fighting department into the 21st century. That sounds a bit dramatic but Doug Mendel has done more than most to equip the Sihanoukville fire department with up to date equipment including a fire-truck no less! You can read about his incredible efforts here. Doug is a former fire-fighter himself, lived in Colorado until recently and captures most of the funds for his work through the Douglas Mendel Cambodian Relief Fund, which you can visit at www.dougmendel.com. The donated fire-truck arrived in Cambodia in April last year after Doug raised $18,000 to pay for the freight and insurance costs. He's now managed eleven trips to his favourite part of the world after his first trip back in 1997, and his next trip is in April, no doubt brimming with as many supplies as any one man can carry. This year he hopes to raise $20,000 so he can have water tenders built for two remote fire stations and his aim is to build a fire station from scratch in the most needy location. And when he's not doing his bit for safety, he helps out with funds and toys for two projects in Sihanoukville, the Starfish Project and M'Lop Tapang, who both give support to the seaside resort's poor and needy. I've been in touch with Doug via e-mail over the last few months and I know how committed he is to his personal mission - Doug I salute you.

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