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Thursday, June 19, 2014

 VNCGC contributes to upgrading our school kitchen. Extra lunch money was used towards making the school kitchen safer to use. We are all happy with these results and the school officials and our own commitment to continue our Food for Thought Lunch Project!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Our Lunch Bunch in May, 2014. School is nearing a close and VNCGC is finishing up the school year with our daily school lunch = Happy Students:) Special Appreciation for our friend Lorraine Pidgeon and her Zumba Buddies. Lorraine, a Zumba instructor dedicated a monthly class to donate for our daily school lunch January to June 2014. Thank you all! This one's for you!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Our Sponsors Support Success, Our Students Achieve It!!

Sponsors Support Success in School

       Vinh* first came to our attention 3 years ago. Remaining in Primary School was a struggle for Vinh and his family. It wasn't simply a matter of money for school.  In this poor commune many school fees are waved now by the VN government and this new policy was beginning just as Vinh's struggles were beginning to threaten his opportunity for basic education.
      His family wants him to go to school. They value education. However, it's harder to be inspired to attend school when you go to sleep hungry,  wake up to face a couple of hours walking to and from school, live too far to go home for lunch and you're about to turn 10 years old.
      The principal Ms. Hong told us about Vinh. Son, our VN Director planned to visit him at his home.
He asked friends and volunteers in Hanoi to gather nice clothes for Vinh and Son purchased rice and other foods to bring with him.  
      Son was moved by his meeting with Vinh and his family. He gave the gifts he brought. He promised Vinh he would get him a bike for his very own.  VNCGC fulfilled that promise through the support of our donors. We found a lovely sponsor for him and his family...the rest is a happy ending, lots of lunches, a full belly, a fun ride to and from school, clothes, books, chickens...It's a simple story
and one that matters to us, to many of you and to Vinh.

      Of the many approaches we employ to assist the students and their families in Tan Lien Sponsoring a student or entire family is one of the most rewarding. Sponsors and students alike gain encouragement and inspiration. Thank you to all our sponsors who provide the happy endings to this chapter in our students lives
from Bonnie, Tami, Susan, Kelly and Son. 
*Not our students actual name.

Monday, January 27, 2014

We're celebrating our Food for Thought Lunch Project.
Begun in 2010, a nutritious cooked lunch is served to the poorest students attending our school. We started with a few students and grew to 55 students each day in 2010. In 2014 we have 48 in our daily cooked lunch Food for Thought Project.  From then till now, over 40,000 lunches have been served and we are still counting...can we count on you to help us deliver good nutrition to our students?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Each blanket and each bike matter to each child. Thank you for helping us reach across the world to provide bikes and warm blankets to children in rural Lang Son.
20 BIKES and 20 Blankets = many warm nights and many joyful, productive days for our students!
Thank you!
Some of our students who received bikes last year! New photos of new gifts to be posted SOON!

Monday, November 25, 2013

By 2014- 50 bikes and 50 blankets for children in Lang Son! You can MAKE IT HAPPEN! It's winter and it's cold. A blanket and a bike changes their lives. To make it happen please donate now (on top left) 60usd for a bike, 25 for a nice thick blanket. Give thanks by giving. It's worth it, the kids are worth it and both of you will be happy!- please share this post.
Take a good look at the boy wishing he could have a bike. Make it happen today for him and the others who couldn't even look because it's so out of reach.
They will thank you, and I'll post it for you.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Excitement for the kids living in an orphanage in Lang Son!

VNCGC. A truck full of bikes for the older residents living in this orphanage. 15 bikes for 15 kids!
Please help us do more for kids who don't have the chance to enjoy the simplest pleasures. Contact me at to learn more.  We've a lot to do to make small dreams come true!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

We are continuing our efforts to improve the lives of the students at our rural elementary school in Lang Son. Some of these students are going on to 6th grade. This is our gift to them to help them have a better year. Some of them are entering 5th grade and received the bikes because they have excelled in their school work. All the students live in a poor rural area. Look through this blog or on the timeline at to see pictures of their homes and get a glance into their everyday humble existence.
I realize what a privilege it is to be with the kids especially when we help them have a fuller, richer life through education and bikes and food and see their smiles.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Love Education- Teaching Parents to Raise Healthy Chickens


    We organized a training!!! It was a huge success!!
 Below you see Mrs. Giang from Hanoi who traveled to Lang Son to spend the day teaching our families. Mrs Houng the school principal helped with the organization and running of the day's event. 
    Books with clearly detailed pictures showed the "how to's" of healthy chicken and egg raising were given to each family that attended and extras kept for the families that were unable to be there.  Questions were asked, advice given. The guests were warmly received by the families.
     Our all day training was a huge success!!! Please enjoy the photos below. If you would like to support this project and ones like it in Lang Son please donate above or to see more photos and learn more go to
please LIKE us on Facebook and share our projects and charitable dreams!
Programs we are growing....
Food for Thought Lunch Program,  Lay It Forward Chicken Project, Sustainable Vegetable Garden, Orphan Scholarship Project
Photos of Training Below

Love Education-Teaching Parents to Raise Healthy Chickens in Lang Son

Friday, January 4, 2013

here are just some of the many moments that are forever in my heart,,,,,,from 2012.
I look at this and feel strongly:  together we found a way to say I love you
      Above is the Lunch Bunch 1 year in to our Lunch Project. This is "Then", and below that is NOW!  It makes me happy to see the results of 5 years of working together. While there is always more to do, it's just wonderful to see what's been done.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

And now there are 24....
4 New Loaner Bikes added for the Students at Tan Lien Elementary School
Total in Bike Loan Project 14
Total Bikes Gifted to Students 10

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 was a banner year for 5LE Fund!
· Chicken coop was built on the Tan Lien Elementary School Property and stocked with 160 chickens plus 4 months of chicken feed
· 1030 chickens were distributed to 34 families with students attending Tan Lien Elementary School plus 4 months of chicken feed
· “How to Raise and Care for Chickens” Training taught by Mrs Giang (from Hanoi) at TL school for families receiving chickens, teachers, local authorities and some students
· 24 Bicycles purchased and delivered: 14 to Tan Lien School to be loaned to students who need them to attend school, returned upon graduation for new group of students;10 gifted to students from their sponsors
· 6 breeding pigs delivered to sponsored student families, 3 pigs (non breeders) delivered to sponsored student family plus feed for 2 months.
· Sponsoring 11 students up from 6 last year- new sponsored student receiving needed medical care
· 8 pigs (3 breeders) purchased and delivered to Lang Son Center of Protection–first step in scholarship program to aid nutrition of orphans
· 100usd total books to school, 50usd of which were for popular Fun to Read series depicting history and biographies of Vietnam’s historical leaders
· Soccer balls, bounce balls, jump ropes, art supplies for all 3 schools in Tan Lien
· 8,000 nutritious lunches provided (160 days, 50 students per day)
We are looking forward to continuing our work and starting new projects for 2013. We deeply appreciate our donors and volunteers who made this year of helping change the lives’ of families in Vietnam possible.
I'm working on uploading tons of new pictures of our training, pigs, books, shopping trips with students, more new bikes, pigs for the orphanage and so much more
thank you thank you thank you
for your help and your patience and continued support!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Motivation to help the young kids in Lang Son- stay in school, have a decent chance for a future

 recent stats in Lang Son showed that of 400 children who attended  primary school (k-5), less than 200 went on to lower secondary (6-8), and only 58 children went on to higher secondary (9-12) please consider contributing to our 5LE (love education fund) in Lang Son - help us expand our program to keep more kids in school so they have a chance to earn a decent living.

Police summon client for buying teen's virginity

Police in Cao Loc district in the northern province of Lang Son have summoned a wealthy man who allegedly paid for the virginity of a teen girl, a victim in a child prostitution ring headed by two local teenage girls.
The 14-year-old girl Ha Thanh X. from Yen Trach commune, who was forced into the sex ring, revealed the identity of a client.
She told investigators that in May, when she was going home after school, a friend asked her to hang out. After that, the pair went to the residential home of 17-year-old Hoang Thu Trang, who has been recently charged with prostituting children.
"When we arrived, Trang invited us in for water and then telephoned someone. After that, we got in a luxurious 7-seat car heading towards Lang Son city," the teen girl recalled.
"That afternoon, Trang suggested that she take us to Hai Phong, and I agreed as if someone hypnotized me," she added.
The victim said the car belongs to a man in his 40s who has a dragon tattoo on his leg, and she was forced to sleep with him at a room on the fifth floor of a hotel in Hai Phong that night.
Before taking away her virginity, the man had given her a white capsule. The following morning, he had sex with the girl once again and gave her wads of VND200,000 banknotes, though most of the cash was pocketed by Trang later.
Previously, on July 4, police in Cao Loc District said they broke up a child prostitution ring headed by two local girls - Hoang Thi Thu Trang and 13-year-old Hoang Thi H.
Investigators said they trafficked five to seven elementary students between age 12 and 15.
Men reportedly paid VND10 million (US$500) to VND20 million (US$1,000) per appointment, while the two suspects pocketed two thirds of the cash.
All prositution is illegal in Vietnam. recent stats in Lang Son showed that of 400 children who attended  primary school (k-5), less than 200 went on to lower secondary (6-8), and only 58 children went on to higher secondary (9-12) please consider contributing to our 5LE (love education fund) in Lang Son - help us expand our program to keep more kids in school so they have a chance to earn a decent living. Donate here or learn more at  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I'm sharing this because I like it. I like what Pam Sweester founder of the Vietnamese Heritage Camps in Colorado says here about listening to our children. Our family loves to go to her Heritage Camp each summer.

I once heard an "expert" in the field of adoption talk about Mother's Day as a time to sit with your children and talk about their birth mother, and about how much she sacrificed for them, and must have loved them to be able to give them up.  So, being the young, impressionable mother that I was at the time, I gave it a shot with my kids.  Whoa, did that ever NOT work!  My daughter looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "I don't want to talk about this," storming off in a huff. My son burst into tears and informed me I ruined Mother's Day for him, and he wasn't about to give me the construction paper flower he made for me at school!
Here, I really thought I was going to open up all kinds of wonderful dialog with my kids about their birth mother, after learning from the "expert" that it was the perfect time to do so! Instead, it seemed to take away their chance to just be "normal," and give their mom a construction paper flower.  I have learned a great deal since then...not from any "expert," but from my children. They talked about their birth parents when THEY wanted to, when THEY were ready, not when I sat them down for a forced conversation.  I am sure there are still experts out there saying Mother's Day is a good time to open up this conversation and I also have no doubt that for some families, it really does work in the best way. I only want to offer another point of view based on experience. A very wise and wonderful Korean adult adoptee once said to me, "It is THEIR journey, not yours....let them take it and feel glad when they ask you to join them."  Both of my kids have taken me on their journeys now and then, in their own very different ways, and for that I am indeed glad. Nothing makes me happier in the world than being their mother!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Every Child's Dream...

With the help of donors we provided 14 bikes to our school. The bikes are loaned to students who need them to get to and from school. When they graduate from 5th grade they will turn them back in for the next student in need. 
In addition 2 of our sponsors provided bikes to the students they sponsor. Sweet!

L2R, me, Tami, Natalie, Steve, Student Ling, Lacey behind her, Lelan, & Les receiving gifts of Thank You Drawings from LS students!!! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Here's a video of photos bringing us almost up to date.
Photos include trip to Lang Son, the school, our volunteers, school kitchen for the Food for Thought Lunch Program, students, chickens for the Lay it Forward Chicken Project, the new school chicken coop being built, sponsored students and more.
For more photos and videos go to
To contribute:    Donate here above or on facebook
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Please share our work with others!

Monday, March 26, 2012

How's that for joy! Diu's happiness lights up her home as she opens gifts her sponsor sent her. Her home cannot compare to ours. We have glass in our windows, refrigerators, indoor bathrooms that flush...the differences are many. In addition to these gifts Diu's family received 30 chickens and starter feed,  oil to cook and fish sauce too. Diu and her sister are sponsored to help them attend our school. We also gave them a little cash gift too from the sponsors.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We opened one suitcase and blew up a beach ball. This is what the kids did when we threw it up in the air.
They were all into it. I loved seeing them be excited and happy and eager to play! This is from one beach ball!
Imagine what a real playground would do.

Sunday- the students at school

Les is having fun with the kids. They gather around and are just so much fun. To accommodate our schedule the school was closed Friday. The staff and students came on Sunday, the first day we could see them. It was heartwarming. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

charitable dreams

charitable dreams

We're on the move to Lang Son. Here is Lelan and our friend and host, Khue bringing gifts and donations from friends in Hanoi. Please join us on facebook at charitable dreams and at families in vietnam.     and

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spirit of Compassion...recently a dear friend HoanDoanMinh 
shared with me her courage to speak to a group about our work. Listeners responded and our students received socks, warm socks, lots of socks and more.
  Even better this inspired her friend to fund raise for poor children in the North. And he is sharing our photos with others to inspire their compassion. Some of this activity will come through our fund and some of it won't because these friends live in VN and can visit our school and other places too where children hope for warmth and kindness. 
Here is the heart of the matter: together we've inspired others, like we were inspired to reach out and deliver love.

Reality Check
Please take a look at this article. It gives you an idea 
 of what it takes to attend school in Lang Son
Thank you for taking a look. If you want to help 
one way is to click on this link- scroll down on left
help the children of Lang Son
     Lang Son Projects 
Donate on top of page or to see more photos and learn more
please LIKE us on Facebook

We can call it a reality check.

Schooling in Vietnam: a stark contrast (photos included)

Some children are born rich and some are born poor. This is an undeniable fact of life in countries across the world, and there is little humans can do to alter it.
However, this inequality in social status should never be allowed to morph into an ugly inequality of educational opportunities, since education is, by far, the most effective way to help a poor person escape the poverty imposed on him by the circumstances of his birth.

student 2
In a remote area of the nothern province of Lang Son, two students are crossing a river unaided to get to their school, Tinh Bac Elementary School located in Loc Binh District. Hundreds of others like them have to cross the river, be it low or high tide, to go to school every day.
student 4
This little first-grader, like many others in the northern province of Quang Ninh, rows her boat to school daily.
student 6
In the northern province of Lang Son, a group of students paddle a half-floating, half-sinking bamboo raft to school. No accompanying adult and, even worse, no lifebuoy!

student 8
These elementary students have to walk through the forests and climb the mountains for 2 hours each day to go to Lung Ca Elementary School in the northern province of Thai Nguyen.

student 10
In the meantime, this little girl is hopping from one pointed mountain rock to another to get to Lung Ca.

student 13
To these children, schooling is a risky adventure.      
you can find complete article at TUOITRENEWS