A successful program
The program was very successful. Our Pastor and Chaplain, Fr. Paul Nguyen, gave tremendous support to the project. With his enthusiasm we were able to collect donations at Our Mother of Perpetual Help parish in Garland over three weekends. Donations were supplies (sleeping bags, toothbrushes, blankets, socks, etc.) and $20,000 cash.
Our council is small, only thirty members. However, twenty five percent of our members were able to participate directly in the project. Not only did we collect for the homeless in Dallas County, we dedicated a Saturday to going to the homeless encampments and delivering directly to those in need.
Donations that were not able to be put directly in a person’s hands were given to Dallas Life Homeless Shelter, including games, hams, and two pallets of water.
The biggest challenge for sending food to Viet Nam was to find someone in Viet Nam and coordinate everything because of the time difference and not being there to see it through. We found a great partner in Caritas whom we could rely on to deliver the rice to the people.
We were able to purchase and distribute over 44,000 pounds of rice. A critical factor in the successful distribution was to work with Caritas to make sure the rice was distributed in ten pound bags. The people receiving the rice had to walk for miles to get the rice and it had to be in small enough packaging they could carry it home. We put food in the hands of thousands who have been deprived of rice and other essentials to survive.