This time last year ex-pat ‘Shore girl' Miranda Jones wondered aloud to her old friend Carol Spence about how she could help others.
"I was talking with Carol about wanting to sponsor a child, but then I fell in love with Hands Across Water," she says.
Now the two are about to saddle up their mountain bikes and raise money for the charity.
"I can't believe it's come to fruition and we're about to take off," Ms Jones says.
Scores of children in coastal Thailand were left orphaned after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
Australian-based Hands Across Water was established to help the orphans remain integrated in Thai society.
"They're doing this for kids who have nobody in the world," Takapuna resident Ms Spence says.
After sponsors helped them raise nearly $11,000 to take part, both women have shelled out more than $4000 on personal expenses to get there, she says.
The sponsorship money will go straight to Hands Across The Water to help maintain its two orphanages and help build a third catering for children who have HIV.
The women will ride 100km a day with six others from Bangkok to Khao Lak in just eight days.
"It will be very hot, mostly in the 30s, but hopefully it won't rain," Ms Spence says.
Along the way they will see how their contributions have helped children, stopping at the Khao Lak orphanage.
Ms Jones will finally meet a child she has sponsored.
It's hoped the New Zealanders' ride will broaden awareness for the charity here, Ms Spence says.
Go to handsacrossthewater. org.au for more information.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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