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When does LAH go to VN and which areas does LAH help?

Each summer and occasionally winter, at least one member from LAH goes back to Vietnam to carry out our primary mission. Each time, we visit different areas. Since the inception of this organization, we have personally traveled to many regions and helped over hundreds of needy families and orphanages in the rural area near: Hue, Da Nang, Quang Tri, Long Hai-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Saigon, Tien Giang, Can Gio, Bien Hoa, Go Vap, Long An, My Tho, Long Xuyen, Can Tho, Ca Mau, Dat Mui, Kien Giang. We have also given out over one thousand scholarships to poor students in the rural areas so that they can continue with their education. Furthermore, we also provided 100% funding for two kids’ open heart surgery in order to save their lives before it was too late. Lend A Hand VYO Inc. has been on 8 humanitarian aid trips. We directly focus on education and healthcare because we believe that education and healthcare is tied together: one cannot perform well when one does not feel. Without education, when will we find cures for diseases?

How is LAH a “family” oriented organization?

Realizing the fact that many teenagers often step on the wrong track while associating with the wrong type of people, LAH officers have deliberately worked to ensure our members feel compassion and love from everyone. In addition, we also help our own members apply for college, graduate school, and early acceptance pre-medical programs which ensures acceptance into medical school with scholarships starting in college and lasting through medical school. Standing in the same level of importance as helping the impoverished children back at home, academic success is highly viewed. We go to the maximum extents to help our members achieve high and become all that they can be. At all times, we provide counseling for any members in need of psychological help.

Is LAH affiliated with any other organizations or religious institutions to whom you relay your money?

Although we have collaborated with other groups, we are not under the umbrella of any organization and prefer to stand on our own. With the money we raise, we have representatives fly directly to Vietnam and personally distribute the funds accordingly to needy families without going through a middle man. Yes, it is hard work. However, this personal delivery is what distinguishes Lend a Hand, Inc., Vietnamese Youth Organization from other organizations that share similar interests and goals. Because going the extra step will make every difference in the world (as in personally distributing the money and not going through another source), we do it without hesitation. All trips and expenses are paid by those who go. We do not use Lend A Hand’s money for airplane tickets nor do we use it for group gathering. Every dollar we make goes to the impoverished children or orphans to provide healthcare and educational assistance. Many of our officers and members received big scholarships and they use their scholarship money to help Lend A Hand have gathering. Donating the money to someone to do it for you is a very simple task, but taking the money back and distributing to people wisely is the hardest task. We fundraise by performing the traditional lion dance (mua lan) and hosting banquets/galas.

When has LAH collaborated with other group?

In the event of Typhoon Xangsane and Typhoon Durian in late October, LAH hosted the first ever joint-banquet with the collaboration of organizations such as Hope Initiative, Good Tiding Charity, and different VSAs around Houston. Money was brought back to affected rural areas during the December break and personally distributed to the civilians there.

Who are the members of LAH?

LAH was founded by a DeBakey high school senior in November, 2003. Though the original members are now attending college, the majority of current members is still composed of high school students (especially from the DeBakey High School for Health Professions). LAH is now in its 5th year. Some of the original members are transitioning into higher learning institutions (medical, optometry and pharmacy schools). We have the State of Texas HOSA President as well as National Merit Finalist in the organization. Many have received full scholarships to Ivy League schools and many others have received full rides to medical school with automatic acceptance. We have the VANG (Vietnamese American National Gala) Golden Torch 2007 recipient on our board. Our members, in addition to having a caring heart to help those in need, have excelled extremely high in academic and brought home many gold, silver, and bronze medals from Science, Health, Math and Physic contests. In addition, our members have hosted humanitarian effort workshop at Vascon3 and Vascon4.

How can I be sure that my donation goes to where it needs to be and not be spent on administrative fees and miscellaneous costs?

We have no administrative fees. LAH is built purely on the time and efforts of volunteers. Every single dollar will be spent wisely to help unfortunate children. If that dollar is not directly given to a kid, then it will be invested in our fundraising banquets or lion dance equipment so that we can raise even more money. Lend A Hand is purely built on the basis of one word: Trust. In the eyes of the public, our own members, and many new teams from all around the States to other countries have trusted us. We also take pictures and document all that is given. Within the last 5 years, Lend A Hand has jumped from less than 10 to over 80 members. Our banquet-gala jumped from 430 guests to over 800 guests.

What is the ultimate goal of LAH?

Perhaps ten years from now, current LAH members will come together as health professionals and travel to Vietnam and many other areas of the world to actually save lives with our medical knowledge, using our own hands.

Does LAH do anything for the communities right here in America or other areas in the world?

LAH personally provided food and other daily life necessities for Hurricane Katrina victims as well as assisted them with paperwork. LAH teamed up with Phap Luan’s Lion Dance Team and raised over $5,000 to assist Tsunami victims in the Philippines. Lend A Hand successfully created “The Road to Medical School” and “The Road to Academic Success” for students around the communities in Texas with the goal of helping students achieve high scores and/or students interested in the field of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy & optometry. Many Houstonians and people from the surrounding areas come to Lend A Hand when they are looking for help in academic. LAH also hosts annual Christmas Books & Toy Drives for the Texas Children’s Hospital. We take a team of LAH members dressed up in holiday clothing and distribute to the unfortunate children having to stay in the hospital during the holidays or year round. We also host food drives with the local news station and our members make turkey and distribute food at the Thanksgiving Lunch in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. We have a very strong relationship with the Muscular Dystrophy Association-USA and sends our members to their camp every summer. Upon reaching 16 years old, every Lend A Hand member is expected to attend these camps for a week to take care of a child one on one who is diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Lend A Hand hosted many bone marrow drives and have registered over 2,500 Vietnamese to support Project Michelle. We have also collaborated with ZOOM and Good Tiding Charity to build a playground for the underserved area in Houston. We are the volunteer group behind Little Saigon Radio in Houston to host the Chinese New Year and Lunar Moon Festival. We have also worked with Saigon Houston Radio in the past for their Lunar Moon Festival. With Journey From The Fall creating an extreme impact on the Vietnamese Community everywhere, Lend A Hand VYO Inc. hosted a Journey From The Fall movie preview with Director Ham Tran present.
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