I happened to be surfing the net on Cambodia and came across the Trailblazer Foundation. Being someone who has an interest in volunteer work and helping others whenever I am able, I was very impressed with the programs that are run by this organization. They were programs that helped the village people self-sustain and be vested in trying to make a better life for themselves with programs like the Village Fund. The education and the economic development program, to include the simple things in life like providing bicycles for students to get to school; make me feel confident about the great things that this organization is accomplishing.
The ability to pay for a well that would bring so much good and clean water to families and villages - touched me very differently. To be able to put my name on the well just made me feel even more special. I did purchase a well and wondered if I would ever see what it would look like. And eventually I received a picture with my name on a well. It just gave this organization so much more credibility and I continue to be further impressed with the work that Trailblazer is doing. I hope to one day go to Cambodia and volunteer with this group to truly make a difference to what this organization is trying to do, and wish Co-Founder Chris Coats and the Trailblazer team only the absolute best. Donating another well today. – Venencia
We like to recognize Trailblazer supporters, be they donors, partners or volunteers, and thank them for their participation in helping make Trailblazer what it is today. This testimonial is from Colonel Dick Sargent and his wife Dr. Patricia Sargent who have been financial donors since 2019, with a focus on latrines. In the past - through Rotary International - they invested in water wells. Today, investing in Trailblazer, they are committed to helping build latrines, which will improve peoples’ hygiene, their health and their lives. Trailblazer’s Executive Director, Chris Coats, initially met Dick Sargent at a Lakewood Foothills Rotary club meeting in Colorado where Chris made a presentation to the Rotarian members. Dick, who served twice as President, continued to show interest, inviting Chris a number of times to present to the club, and encouraged his club members and others to support Trailblazer.
An educator, Patricia served for decades both as high school teacher and administrator, and after retirement as adjunct professor at Regis University and University of Denver. She now spends her time researching and writing about women’s history. To quote Patricia as to why she supports Trailblazer’s efforts, she said, “Helping other human beings brings quality to our own lives. Helping others improve their lives, improves our lives. It’s so important to help other people because we have so much.”
Dick flew jet planes in the United States Marine Corps, becoming a full Colonel. As a civilian, he served the community and the state by running twice for Colorado State Treasurer and once for Governor, and he served the town of Golden as City Councilman and later as Board member of the Regional Transportation District. To summarize Dick’s comments as to why he supports Trailblazer: Dick is deeply moved about Cambodia’s history of losing all their leaders and intelligencia during the devastating regime of the Khmer Rouge, which ruled Cambodia from 1975 - 1979. From his life experience, he has seen people who are motivated and work hard improve their lives. When they get an opportunity, they do their best to make the most out of it. Dick knows that their money can make an impact on helping Cambodians recover, and he wants to help the world in that way.
The photo to the right is of one of our volunteers, Justine Auton, who hails from Wellington, New Zealand. Justine volunteered at our worksite helping construct bio-sand water filters and then donated enough money for fifteen water filters and now is one of Trailblazer Foundation's newest Board Member.
She refers to her time with Trailblazer as her Revenge Tour. Here is part of her story:
It all started with a mouthful of lettuce four years ago, and ended with two weeks of hard work making bio-sand water filters. The lettuce my friend ate while we were in Siem Reap had likely been washed with local, unpurified water, and hours later she got sick. For four days. Upon my return home, I resolved to get even with that water, and my payback was a two-week stint volunteering with Trailblazer.
In the months before leaving on what I referred to as my Revenge Tour, I ask my friends for donations to fund my idea of taking toothbrushes to the kids. With 1,500 toothbrushes in my luggage, this past October I headed back to Siem Reap.
I’m doing another revenge tour next year, having discovered it’s an antidote to the stress of life here at home. I hope to see you there!
Cambodia Clean Water Project with our partner Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy Project.
Creating access to safe drinking water is one of the most powerful ways to improve the world. To learn more about this program and other projects around the world, go to www.akphilanthropy.org.
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Peggy Goldman, President of Friendly Planet Travel, explains why her company supports Trailblazer Foundation. Thanks to Peggy for this strong testimonial in support of TF's efforts to develop ripples of sustainability through community water projects.