Each year, as spring arrives, volunteers unite in The Lawrence S. Ting Charity Walk, aiming to bring warmth to the lives of the less fortunate.
Initiated by Phu My Hung in 2006, the walk has evolved into an annual social gathering in the southern region of the city, serving as a cherished meeting point for compassionate hearts. By 2010, the active involvement of the People’s Committees of District 7, District 8, Nha Be County, and Binh Chanh County in organizing and mobilizing charitable donations significantly enhanced the walk’s reach and impact.
Over 18 years, The Lawrence S. Ting Charity Walk has seen the participation of over 225 thousand individuals, raising more than VND 44 billion for charitable causes. All funds generated from the walk have been channeled to the “For the Poor” funds of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees in Districts 7, 8, Nha Be, and Binh Chanh Counties. Additionally, contributions have been directed to the “Chung mot tam long” Fund of HTV and the “Sponsoring Fund for Sports Talents” of the HCMC Department of Culture and Sports.
Mr. Mai Van Cho, Standing Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee – Nha Be County, expressed, “Annually, with the support of The Lawrence S. Ting Charity Walk, the ‘For the Poor’ Fund of Nha Be County gains greater capacity to attend to the needs of impoverished and near-poor households in the region. We’ve undertaken various social and security initiatives, including awarding scholarships to students facing challenges, providing Tet gifts, constructing charity houses, repairing homes, and supporting livelihoods for those in need”.
In the southern districts of the city, numerous families in challenging circumstances have found support through The Lawrence S. Ting Charity Walk. Through the local “For the Poor” Funds, these families have been able to overcome their hardships and establish a more stable life. An example is the story of Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh’s family in Hamlet 4, Phuoc Loc Commune, Nha Be County. Ms. Thanh, responsible for a household of 11, with 9 members unable to work due to various reasons, faced significant challenges. With elderly and frail parents, two mentally ill aunts, and five young children— the eldest only in the 5th grade— the weight of the entire family’s responsibilities rests upon her and her husband. The family’s modest house leaked during rain, and rising water levels brought flooding.
Ms. Thanh shared, “Without the care and support of the local government and the compassionate sponsors, I don’t know how much longer my husband and I could have endured. We were provided with fish and goats for raising. Thanks to this assistance, our family life has stabilized, and my child can attend school.”
Likewise, Mr. Truong Phuoc Cu’s family, residing in Phu Thuan Ward, District 7, also experienced considerable assistance from the local “For the Poor” Fund. Mr. Cu faced adversity when a disability resulting from an accident was followed by kidney failure, significantly impacting his ability to work. Adding to the challenges, his wife was diagnosed with rectal cancer, further complicating the family’s situation. Even Mr. Cu’s son encountered difficulties in pursuing his path to university.
Amid these hardships, the District 7 “For the Poor” Fund provided timely support to Mr. Cu’s family, aiding in house repairs, facilitating his sister’s retail space, and awarding a scholarship to his son. Mr. Cu expressed his gratitude, saying, “Thanks to the support from the community and the local authorities, my family now has a stable place to live and means of livelihood. Most importantly, my son can continue his education. As long as my children can pursue their studies, my family has a future”.
Numerous families, including those of Ms. Thanh and Mr. Cu, have triumphed over adversity through the collective compassion and efforts of The Lawrence S. Ting Charity Walk. Recognizing this, every spring, the footsteps of volunteers walk in unison towards those in need. The Lawrence S. Ting Charity Walk is scheduled for 6:30 AM on January 20, 2024, at The Crescent, Phu My Hung.
News & Photos: Thanh Toan