During the height of the global COVID pandemic we created a new local initiative, Meals to Heal, with the mission to deliver meals to healthcare workers across the Houston area between March and April of 2020.
While the COVID pandemic hit us hard locally, we know we are blessed to live in the United States where there is a safety net of charities, civic organizations, and government support during these turbulent times. We have numerous agencies that provides basic food and shelter and children here receive an education for free. In developing countries like Vietnam, there is no safety net. For the marginalized families and children, they struggle each day just to have enough food to eat.
COVID hit our ALA children in Vietnam especially hard. Due to economic conditions, local Vietnamese food distributors were hard pressed to provide to our schools and centers. Many times, our schools and centers struggled to provide just one meal a day for these children. For a lot of these children, this was the only meal they received. For the last half of 2020, we sharpened our focus on the most basic necessity, food, for these children.
We used the limitations of pandemic life to come up with new ways to raise funds and awareness of our cause. We harnessed the energy and ideas of one of our awesome volunteers, Christine Khuong Cao, to have our first annual virtual fun run in the early fall and our first online auction during the Thanksgiving holiday. This culminated in a very lively Giving Tuesday, which we actively participated in for the first time. We raised almost $60,000 between these 3 campaigns.
Food is something that gets taken for granted with the myriad choices we have in daily American life. From restaurants to grocery stores, it seems like one could never go hungry in Houston, but that is not the reality locally and in Vietnam.
To build better lives and brighter futures for disadvantaged children in VN.
A healthy life and an education for every child.
Our efforts in 2020 with the Meals to Heal campaign bridged both our mission and our vision by brightening the future for those we serve in Vietnam while also working to benefit those who are underprivileged right here in our own community.