Poppies Bali Covid19 Relief Fund

Hi there,

If you’re reading this it’s because you’ve either dined at Poppies Restaurant, or stayed at Poppies Cottages, or perhaps you’ve come across one of their sister properties in your travels (Villa Melati / Kopi Pot / Strawberry Hill). If that’s the case, you’ve undoubtedly been touched by the beauty, care and hospitality of Poppies and her people. I’m writing to let you know that Bali is in trouble; the island has been hit hard by the global pandemic, and we urgently need your help.

My name is Bob Althoff, and forty-seven years ago, I visited Bali for what was supposed to be a long weekend trip, but something happened to change my plans and the course of my life forever: I fell in love with the island and most importantly, I met my dear friend, Zenik Sukenny, at her original warung on Kuta Beach. I was lucky enough to be a part of those early days when she transitioned from the beach to what would soon become famously known as Poppies Lane. I was there the night they opened their doors on January 12, 1973. And although I eventually left and returned to the States, a piece of my heart has always remained on the island.

Perhaps you also have a soft spot in your heart for for Bali. Sadly, the island we know and love doesn’t look the same today. The streets are empty, flights have been canceled, and travel bans abound. In 2019, more than 5 million tourists arrived in Bali. This year, Bali has experienced an almost 100% decrease in foreign tourist arrivals since April. Try to wrap your mind around this devastating downturn. John and Zenik have continued to pay their staff 50 percent of their income, but with no revenue coming in, this arrangement is no longer sustainable. I reached out to both of them to find out how I could help, and if you know them personally I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that they initially resisted. But after much persistence on my part, they have finally agreed to let me organize this campaign. 

As you may know, Poppies and its staff have grown in remarkable ways throughout the years. There are now hundreds of staff members whose families depend upon the income they derive from Poppies and its sister properties. Same goes for all the loyal “tukang” (the many craftsmen, carpenters, tilers, painters, engineers etc.). With no end in sight for the pandemic, everything they know is in jeopardy. We can never discount the great resilience of the Indonesian people, but right now there is nothing but uncertainty. And very limited government assistance, if any. But that’s where YOU and your generosity come in. Because the truth is, I know I’m not alone; I know there are people all around the world who care about Poppies. It’s time to UNITE, to be there for them in this time of crisis, so that they can be there for us when it’s over. Let’s ensure that they'll be able to survive this pandemic, that they’ll have access to shelter, food and other basic necessities that are needed in order to get by. Your support has always meant the world to Poppies and its sister properties, but now it is vital. 

In Indonesian villages, there is a spirit of cooperation called gotong-royong — the idea is to come together to attain a shared goal. That is precisely what is needed now. We need to come together with as many people as possible in order to provide for our Balinese brothers and sisters. Please share this message with your friends, family and extended network. The more people who are able to help, the better. Your donation, no matter what size, will make an enormous difference in the lives of so many. Please rest assured that every single donation from this campaign will go directly to the staff members who need it most.

If you’re unable to support monetarily, please consider giving with your time by sharing this campaign widely, or by sending messages of hope from your home to our mutual home-away-from-home, Poppies Bali.

Terima Kasih!

Bob Althoff

This fundraiser is a personal initiative. 100% of all funds will be withdrawn from this account and sent via bank transfer to Made (Kadek) Budarsih, the current secretary of the Staff Co-operative, at Bank Negara Indonesia, JL. Raya Puputan No.27, Renon, Denpasar, Bali. Receipt of funds and proof of distribution can be provided upon request. Money will be used to provide bare essentials for the staff and their family members (food/drink/supplies/medicine) as they cannot depend on their local government for unemployment benefits at this time.

For proof of campaign authenticity, please feel free to contact Sujana, the head manager at Poppies Bali at (62 361) 751059 and/or [email redacted]- you can also visit Poppies FB page to read a recent post re: the origins of the fundraiser: https://www.facebook.com/PoppiesBali1/

Thanks in advance for all your help!


  • Karen Newton 
    • $100 
    • 4 d
  • Patricia Cooke 
    • $50 
    • 4 d
  • Glenys Thomas 
    • $200 
    • 5 d
  • Paul & Marie van de Ven 
    • $100 
    • 6 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 6 d
See all


Robert Althoff 
Columbus, OH
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