Giving in a time of crisis

“Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” – Jackie Chan

In the face of this worldwide pandemic that is impacting all of us both personally and professionally, I would like to share with you a story that warms my heart and put a smile on the faces of children in need. It is a story of hope and resilience.

The Center for Innocent Children in Biên Hòa, Vietnam, was founded in 1990 by Sister Maria Daniel Vu Thi Vinh and is the home of over 200 abandoned newborns, children with disabilities and orphans.

As the world start shutting down around the Lunar New Year, the center had to close its door to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the children and staff. As a consequence of this important and necessary measure, the children are  unable to go to school and no visitors have been allowed since the lockdown.

This turn of events has resulted in a significant drop in financial relief, as the center is dependent on the goodwill of its visitors.

When Hannah and I kicked off our 2020 fundraiser, we were hoping to fund a series of projects that would improve the living conditions of the children at the center. The 2019 fundraiser allowed Sister Vinh to rebuild the kitchen at the center, install a water tank and filtration system, replace all of the toilets and sinks and pay for school expenses. But COVID-19 changed all that.

Kitchen cooking equipment: the new and the old

The new water filtration system and water tanks

Thirty new sinks and ten working toilets

So what are we doing? Our focus has shifted to helping meet the basic needs of these vulnerable children. With the generosity and helping hands from donors like you, we have been able to raise close to $8,000 since the beginning of the year. This experience has left us humbled by the generosity of our donors and renewed our faith in the goodness of people, who continue to support the center despite their personal hardships in light of the current pandemic.

Last evening, I had the opportunity to speak with Sister Vinh after one of the English classes we have been conducting online since the beginning of the year. She confirmed receipt of our $5,000 donation which will help fund basic operations of the center.

Sister Vinh asked me to extend a wholehearted “Cảm ơn!” to all of our donors. The money received will allow her and her staff to worry less about the financial woes of their situation and dedicate more time to the well being of the children.

Our work is not done! In fact, we’re just getting started. With our continued support, Sister Vinh will be able to carry forward her quest to help these deserving children, like Ngoc, Mai, and the twins. Please consider joining us on this journey by contributing to the Happy Planet Children 2020 fundraiser.

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