Letter from Executive Director
Dear Friends of Bridging Hope,
My heart sank deeply when I saw recent horrific photos of the heavy flooding in central sections of Viet Nam with tens of thousands of homes completely submerged by water. Many have been left homeless. Food and other supplies are desperately needed.
Yet, I also feel great comfort because of your outpouring of generosity during the Bridging Hope’s 9th Annual Bridging Fundraiser Campaign especially on the evening of October 1! We received about $70,000.00 after the expenses. 50 cents a breakfast… you do the math. WOW!
The campaign showed again that we have the power to make differences in the lives of our fellow human beings – in this case the lives of so many women and children in Viet Nam.
Humbly, we, at Bridging Hope, would like to thank:
- All who came that evening and many who participated even when they were unable to attend.
- The Lion Dance Team and the Traditional Vietnamese Dance Group from the youth program at Queen of the Vietnamese Martyrs Church in Denver.
- The Vietnamese Student Association at Colorado University at Boulder.
- The Kitchen and Home Cook Team.
- The Harvest Meat Company, especially Adam.
- All donors, big and small.
- All levels of sponsors, especially the Marycrest Franciscan Sisters, Erin Murray and Zeke
- Williams, AA Lab, Johnson Vu and Tien Tong, Jean Demmler and John Kane.
- The Liquor and Gift Basket Donors.
- All who “staged” the event: Team Technology, Team Holiday Market, Team Silent Auction,
- Master of Ceremonies Louis Hùng Trần, singer Đình Bảo, pianist Tuấn Cao, Ambassador of Hope Khắc Quân
- And many more. (Please forgive me, if I missed anyone.)
Regardless of all the tragic events in our world, especially in Viet Nam, may we continue to have the wisdom to really see the true colors radiating from each person’s heart, and the courage to live them out. And together let’s have a very HAPPY, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
Sister Sen Nguyen, OSF
“Kiến nghĩa bất vi, vô dũng giả; lâm nguy bất cứu, mạt anh hùng.” (Nguyễn Trãi)
Letter from Board President
As I write this letter, S. Sen is in Viet Nam once again. Representing Bridging Hope, she is working with the archdiocese of Vinh Province to provide help to those devastated by the recent flooding in Central Viet Nam. The pictures tell the story.
Through Bridging Hope we are all there with her. S. Sen’s work is our work. Her hands are our hands. We are there through her.
I read this quote recently. I don’t know who said it but it expresses the spirit and mission of Bridging Hope:
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.
Through Bridging Hope, more of the world is within our reach.
Visiting a flood area
By Sr. Sen Nguyen
Around the second week of October, 2016, central Viet Nam suffered from heavy severed flooding. The causes came from many sources. Part of it caused by nature, which is nothing new in central Viet Nam, but the big part of it was from the irresponsible-hydropower development and operation when dams open floodgates without warning or consideration of consequences. Deforestation from the big cooperation also plays a big role in increasing erosion. Consequently from this heavy flood, many have died, tens of thousands of homes completely submerged by water. Many were homeless, lacked of food and basic needed supplies. Seeing these horrific scenes, I responded, “another trip to Viet Nam!”
I left Los Angeles for Viet Nam right after the Christmas for Breakfast’s fundraiser on November 6, 2016. I carried with me cash donated from Bridging Hope, Sisters of St. Francis, and friends. I planned on buying food, medicines and other supplies for the flood victims. When I arrived, I learned that so much food and supplies had been distributed from the local social groups. Flood victims now needed cash to buy appropriate supplies.
After contacting a few local organizations and churches, I decided to work with the Đình Bảo’s group, as they were already in the Lâm Trạch village in Quảng Bình, a remote area. They felt that they were at the end of the journey. Đình Bảo asked if I could take on the rest of the mission. I agreed! He recommended us to work with the remained hamlets at the Tam Trang village. He introduced me by phone to the local pastor of a Catholic church. From the previous flood they encounter, he also suggested that I bring rain coats, rain boots, and floating jackets, just in case another storm would come.
I invited KimDung, a local Bridging Hope’s volunteer, to join me. We flew out the next day to Đồng Hới. The pastor, Fr. Nang, had arranged for someone who owned a big van to pick us up at the airport. The big van would work well with the high water and muddy roads. It was already dark. The road from the airport to the rectory was over an hour. Considered the heavy flood, the roads weren’t that bad. We arrived at the rectory around 9:00 pm. Fr. Năng kept on saying how lucky we were compared to what Đình Bảo’s group had been through. The water has already decreased. There was no need for the floating jackets. We had dinner, rested, and got ready for the next day. (See pictures below of Đình Bảo and his team on what they endured … they paved the way for us. Thanks, Đình Bảo and team!)
The next day, with the help of Fr. Năng, we met the local people at one the churches. It was well organized. The day before, Fr. Năng gave out the tickets … one for each family.
They all gathered and lined up, each one had a ticket in hand. I felt so humbled as I was distributing the gifts … quietly thanking my Sisters, Bridging Hope and friends to allow me to have this opportunity. Empowered by their simple presences, my heart wept!
KimDung and I left on the same day for Vinh.
Christmas for Breakfast Fundraiser – Westminster, California
On November 6, Christmas for Breakfast (C4B) put on a wonderful fundraiser to benefit the women and children of Bridging Hope. It was a wonderful event: full of energy. It reflected a good spirit of collaboration.
Thanks to Chi, Vivian, volunteers and the participants! For sure, together we have improved the lives of the women and children in Viet Nam.