Kindred Spirits Gather To Give Back and Make A Difference

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

People volunteer for different reasons. Some are personal. Others are about the causes they are passionate about. And on this beautiful southern California Sunday afternoon, more than thirty volunteers with the youngest at seven, come together to donate their time and talents to build arm restraints for children who will undergo surgery in March 2019.

After a brief introduction, team Southern California “Smiles for Hope” is in full swing with people cutting ribbons, boards and decorating them with designed duct tapes, putting on Velcro and punching holes. It’s a hive of activity and everyone feels at home. The initial goal is to make twenty five pairs of arm restraints. But the final count is sixty. Everyone works until the materials run out. But the most poignant moment of the event came during the meal break. Thuy-Linh Nguyen opens with welcoming remarks including a call to be the change we all wish to see for the less fortunate in Quang Tri.

 

Tina Le and Mark Samala follow with a brief history about Project Vietnam Foundation and what it’s like to be a part of the medical mission.

Everyone then introduce themselves and share the reason why they are there. Not all know what they’re expected to help with, but all know that their selfless acts will give the people who live thousands of miles away hope and joy and the knowledge that they are loved and cared about.

Kindred in spirit, everyone works together to live up to the principle that there is a service requirement beyond our comfort home. They all come to give back. And they all want to come back to give more. Our next project will be packaging First Aid Kits.

Stay tuned.

Visit our gallery to see more photos from this event by clicking here

A Teen’s Journey

On March 8, 2018, I embarked on a week-long journey with the Project Vietnam Foundation (PVNF) to help provide medical care for the impoverished people of Central Vietnam. This journey not only deepened my understanding for my cultural heritage, but it also strengthened my admiration of the resilience of the Vietnamese people.