BENEFITING: Vietnam Scholarship Foundation
My name is My-Linh. I've been volunteering on the Board of the Viet Nam Scholarship Foundation (VNSF) for nearly 10 years. I was born here in the United States and grew up hearing stories from my parents about growing up in Viet Nam. One of the themes of these stories was education and its importance. My parents valued education greatly and their only goal in coming to America was to send their kids to school. They knew staying in Viet Nam would only trap their kids in the cycle of poverty they themselves could not break free from. A change was necessary. The risk to come to America was worth that chance for a brighter future for their kids.
Now as an adult, I've visited my parents' hometown of Ca Mau, Viet Nam. My relatives farm and fish for a living in the jungles of Ca Mau. I've seen firsthand the lives of my cousins. Some are literate, some not, some learned trade skills by apprenticeship, some married off as early as 16 yrs old, and most if not all still living in the little town my mom grew up in. I realize that would have been my life if my parents didn't take that risk 35+ years ago.
I'm creating this online fundraiser with the goal to raise $2,500. That's how much it costs to renovate a Reading Room in a local public school. As a young child, I loved to read and I spent whatever money I had buying those Scholastic books you send away for in the mail. Today, I still read probably 4-5 books a month. Learning to read for joy can open your mind to learn new information, broaden your imagination, and heighten your thirst for knowledge and discovery. Every child should have access to books.
In rural Viet Nam, school libraries are little more than a couple shelves with 10 year old books in a stuffy room with little other furnishing. VNSF's Reading Room program renovates school libraries, furnishing them with functional and fun furniture that invite kids to enjoy reading there. We've seen kids spend their recess reading in our Reading Rooms -- the best testimonial we could hope for. We supply our Reading Room with hundreds of new books -- not just educational books but fun books as well -- popular comic books and novels. The US dollar goes a long way in Viet Nam. For as little as $50, we can buy up 10-20 books! Every dollar you donate will help!
On September 24, VNSF is hosting its Annual Benefit Event. I hope to see many of you there. But if you can't join us that evening, I hope you will consider making a donation and supporting my online fundraising drive. Let's build a Reading Room together!!