New Year a season of giving and volunteering

With Tet approaching, volunteers and philanthropists of charity groups in major cities across Vietnam have begun organizing trips to remote areas to give help and donate gifts to needy people.

The gifts range from a simple warm jacket, food, clothes, and candy to volunteering to do housework or perform a free concert to entertain underprivileged people.

The gifts range from a simple warm jacket, food, clothes, and candy to volunteering to do housework or perform a free concert to entertain underprivileged people.

The help fuels the hopes and warms the hearts of both recipients and donors, said a volunteer.

PleikuCafe group, in the central highland province of Gia Lai, have gone on special volunteering trips every month for the past two years. For their special Tet trip this month, they chose Tnung 1 village in Kong Chro District, around 100km away.

They often visit ethnic minority villages of the Jrai and Bana.

They give away colorful clothes, bottles of fish sauce, cooking oil, haircuts, and help organize free concerts in the villages.

“Visiting the villages is the only way to understand the daily difficulties in their lives. I see that the challenges I face are minor to them,” said Doan Xuan Hang, 32, of District 6 in Ho Chi Minh City.

Another charity group in HCMC, “Linking hearts,” will send 40 people to visit needy children in Loc Ngai Commune in Lam Dong Province’s Bao Lam District.

“Actually, we receive lessons that are more valuable than the gifts we give away,” said one volunteer. “They generously gave us cups of tea in the early morning and local produce such as baked white potatoes.”

Last week, 30 members of the volunteer group Song Ma in HCMC traveled to Dong Thap in the Mekong Delta to help repair the Lang Bien School, organize a free music show, and donate gifts.

To raise funds for the trip, the volunteers visited Ben Thanh Market in the center of HCMC to ask for donations, as well as requesting help via Facebook.

On January 18-19, the other volunteer group, 3M in HCMC will travel to the poor Truong Xuan Commune in Dak Song District of Dak Nong Province to give away warm clothes to 500 local children.

Last week, 14,000 people took part in the Lawrence Sting charity walk in the Phu My Hung area of District 7 to raise VND2.7 billion (US$130,000) for poor people in the city.

To take part in the charity season, young people in Hanoi took part in the Red Sunday campaign to donate blood at the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion on January 12. The campaign, which covers ten cities and provinces, plans to collect 5,000 – 7,000 units of blood.

A blood donor takes part in the Red Sunday campaign in Hanoi (Photo: Tuoi Tre)A blood donor takes part in the Red Sunday campaign in Hanoi (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
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