When we purchase something with our own money, we are more likely to feel the value in it. This is the premise behind the Secondhand Clothing Project which takes donated goods and resells them to hilltribe villagers at about one-tenth the cost of new items. While a shirt for 10 baht ($.25) may seem virtually free, the fact that it is not free causes the purchaser to feel a sense of investment and ownership in it, and we are more inclined to take care of those things.
The income from the programme is not large, but it is sufficient to offset the cost of transportation to the villages on "market days." Whatever income is left over is used to fund other small projects at the Mirror Foundation.
During the winter months, the temperature in the hills can drop below freezing, conditions for which bamboo huts provide inadequate protection. Each winter, the Mirror Foundation makes a special call for donated socks and blankets. This year, we were able to hand out over 7,500 blankets to villagers in the area.