Category Archives: News

Bridging Hope News Fall/Winter 2016

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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!!!

Blessing Abundantly,

Sister Sen Nguyen, OSF
“Kiến nghĩa bất vi, vô dũng giả; lâm nguy bất cứu, mạt anh hùng.” (Nguyễn Trãi)


Letter from Board President

Dear Friends,

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.

Thank you.

Joan Buckley
President


Visiting a flood area

By Sr. Sen Nguyen

Source: Internet

Source: Internet

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.

Source: Đình Bảo

Source: Đình Bảo

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. flood-db-09We 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!)

img_0028The 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.


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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 booths, 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.

14721591_1808303599389801_7341716546843302437_n  Source:  Internet

flood-db-09  From Đình Bảo

flood-db-03 From Đình Bảo

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Bridging Hope’s 9th Annual Art & Vietnamese Cultural Fundraiser Event

Friends,

We are happy to announce that Bridging Hope’s 9th Annual Art & Vietnamese Cultural Fundraiser Event is coming up.   We invite you to join us this energetic and wonderful event.

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Below are several ways to can help us.  Please select one of the following.

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NOTE:  If you are unable to become a sponsor at this time, please come to the event and make a donation of $50.00 donation for each participant.   To donate and RSVP for this event please click the button below and write down the TOTAL.





Your donation will enable us to help the women and children of these programs:

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Bridging Hope’s 8th Annual Art and Vietnamese Cultural Fundraising Event – October 3rd, 2015

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No ticket will be issued, there will be a RSVP guest list at the event!

Former Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers invites you to the 8th Annual Art & Vietnamese Culture Fundraiser for Bridging Hope. The event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3rd.

Teresa Mai will be performing for us at the event. Please enjoy these videos of her from past performances.

We are excited to line up a live performance of recording artist Teresa Mai (aka Sangeeta Kaur), a Vietnamese American trained opera singer at our Fall Fundraiser this year! Teresa is Miss Los Angeles 2011 and a co-founder of the Awakening the Heart Productions. She has also recently appeared on Paris By Night 114, “Tôi Là Người Việt Nam!” Don’t miss the chance to experience this sensational voice and meeting this impressive lady! RSVP with us now!

Hope Fostered in Small, Practical Actions

The intriguing thing about a symbol is how many ways it works. The graceful bridges in the logo of Bridging Hope symbolize relationships between:

  • The Denver nonprofit and Vietnamese Catholics who minister to needy women and children;
  • Vietnamese children adopted in the U.S. during the Vietnam War and their homeland;
  • Vietnam veterans and others of their generation for whom the war was a defining event, and a sense of closure or reconciliation;
  • A misperception of Vietnamese people as “the enemy” and the truth of their beauty and intelligence.

Some bridges are hard to negotiate, but this ministry is a significant start. Many feel overwhelmed by world poverty, yet finding a direct, trustworthy way to alleviate it is the first step on the bridge. Even one small, practical action restores hope.

Unsurprisingly, a bridge plays a key role in the story of Franciscan Sr. Sen Nguyen. On April 23, 1975, as Saigon was collapsing and refugees were flooding south, she was distressed by the corpses of children lining the beach in her village south of the capitol. Telling her mother, “Wait here!” she left to seek help from the Red Cross in Saigon. She didn’t know that social services had closed during the crisis. When the bridge connecting her village to the city was bombed out; her return home was delayed. Finally reaching the village, she could not find her mother, her only living relative.

Continue reading…

Modern Nuns Less Conventional

GRAND JUNCTION — Sister Karen Bland is a thoroughly modern Catholic nun. Her gold Chevrolet Malibu is proof.

The well-used tennis shoes she wears in her early-morning after-Mass visits to a health club sit on the passenger seat. An audiobook — a novel about two boys of different races growing up in Southern California — is in the CD player.

And in the past hour, this diminutive, middle-aged woman who holds five degrees, including a doctorate, and speaks three languages has been making the rounds in the well-used automobile. She has driven from the soup kitchen she administers to the day center she oversees, where the homeless can get warm and clean, to the construction site of an apartment complex she has raised funds to build for the mentally ill.

Continue….

Sr. Sen Receives Regis’ Humanitarian Award –

Since 1958, the Regis Alumni Association has honored distinguished graduates of Regis University and Loretto Heights College through special recognition. The outstanding alumni award recipients are recognized for demonstrating excellence in their respective fields and for exemplifying the Regis University mission of being “Leaders in Service of Others”.

The Humanity Award

Sister Sen Nguyen O.S.F., RC ’89.When she was still a child, Sr. Nguyen moved with her parents from North to South Vietnam. As the war in Viet Nam ended in 1975, she was separated from her mother (who was rescued by the American ship from Vung Tau to Guam) and came to reside in Denver. After discovering her mother, her only living relative, had safely fled the country, she also escaped and found refuge, first in Malaysia and eventually was reunited with her mother in Denver. It is worth noting that her scout’s skills with the compass were responsible for the boat’s safe arrival in Malaysia after it had run out of fuel. Continue reading