Update 2: Bringing LOVE to Mr Tong and the Kids at the Orphanage (5-8 October 2016)

Our visit to Mr Tong’s orphanage could not have been possible without the strong support from our dear friends.  Pres and I have been truly blessed with remarkable friendships across the globe.  A million thanks to you all!

And if there is one thing Pres and I learned from all the charity events we have been organising, there are good souls out there willing to help; all it takes is a quick hello and you’d soon find yourselves trading stories and discovering that you share that same strong desire to reach out in ways you can.

We got to know Gee Isa-al through a friend’s introduction during a fund-raising event a few months back.  She handed me her card and intimated her interest in supporting our events through the proceeds from her book sales.  Delighted that Pres and I got invited to give a spiel about the charity events we do and the missions trips we have gone to on Gee’s book launch in August 2016.  A million thanks, Gee!

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Gee introducing Pres and I to the attendees at her successful book launch

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Ivy briefing on how our mantra “LOVE makes life beautiful!” and our design came about

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Pres walking the listeners through our past and upcoming charity events

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At Gee’s book signing

Helping others has always been in Gee’s vocabulary – her book titled Home At Last! How Migrant Workers Can Retire Rich And Worry Free!  aims to help Filipinos working abroad to manage their resources towards having an enjoyable retirement upon coming back home.

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We’ve heard in the news thousands of stories about migrant workers who returned to the Philippines with empty pockets and this no longer comes as a shock to us, this day and age.  Gee shares in her book her personal experience as an overseas worker in Singapore and puts together insightful suggestions on how to achieve financial freedom.  Maraming maraming salamat, Gee for all your support!  Mabuhay ka!

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Gee even joined Pres and I when we were packing the school kits for our kids the night before we left for Nha Trang.  We got done past midnight but no complaints from this kind soul.  Thank you, Gee ng maraming marami!  You are a dear friend.

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Gift bags for our girls have school supplies and rag dolls inside – wonderful surprise for our young ladies!  The boys get toy cars along with their notebooks and crayons.

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Tired but happy!  The school kits for our kids are ready!

 

 
When we LOVE, we always strive to become better than we are.  When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too! – Paulo Coelho

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update 1: Bringing LOVE to Mr Tong and the Kids at the Orphanage (5-8 October 2016)

Pres and I are very fortunate to have met Mr Tong and extremely grateful to him for welcoming us into his home.  We were told that his name Phuoc Phuc translates to “happy” and “lucky.”mr-tong

We promised we’d cook spaghetti and fried chicken for everybody (Mr Tong and his family, the kids, the pregnant mothers, and the volunteer caregivers) so Tram, Mr Tong’s niece, took us to a nearby market.  She’s our interpreter – Mr Tong does not speak English. Thank you very much, Tram!tram

We went to the market early in the morning to buy ground beef and 5 kilos of chicken!

 

The kids love soda, said Tram so we bought them 8 bottles! market-2 

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With Tram and her boy Subin, and some of the volunteer caregivers at the orphanage. Thank you all for being very nice to us!caregivers

From our trip to the market, the kids greeted us at the door and gave us some yogurt ice candies! Yum!yogurt

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Mr Tong wanted us to meet his biological son and daughter; they both came from school that afternoon.  Next to Pres is Emily! She’s 12 now and has been helping around the orphanage to tend to the younger kids! Such a lovely young lady – always smiling!mr-tongs-family

Pres, cooking the spaghetti sauce! pres-cooking

We started preparing at 3pm as the kids typically have their dinner at 530pm!ivy-pres-cooking

The kids couldn’t wait! Mr Tong said, first time for the kids to have people over at the orphanage and cook them spaghetti and fried chicken!kids-at-the-kitchen

Finally dinner was served – at 630pm!!! Pres and I would usually prepare meals for two hahaha! Our first time to cook for over 30 people!

 

Our strawberry cake! We all loved it!  We specifically asked the cakeshop to make sure they write down the Vietnamese translation of our LVE makes life beautiful message at the bottom of the cake so the kids could get to read it!  TÌNH YÊU LÀM CUỘC SỐNG TƯƠI ĐẸP!

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This is Mr Dhuy (not sure if I got his name right!); he designed our cake! Very nice man!cake-designer

Mr Tong said we have 3 October birthday celebrants so we had everybody sing the Happy Birthday song – both in Vietnamese and English!birthday-cake

With our October celebrants in their wacky glasses! Happy birthday!birthday-celebrants

Kids enjoying their cake slice! Very nice to see these young ladies sharing!enjoying-cake-2

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This boy loves his photos being taken! So cute!boy-loves-photos

 

Kids’ smiles are truly priceless! Two of our girls in pink made themselves their name tags like ours!name-tags

 

“There is nothing more beautiful than when someone goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” – Mandy Hale

 

Second Visit to Lang Hoa Binh, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam 2016

Very happy to see the children at the Peace Village again this year!  We missed you all!  Glad the kids at the Peace Village still remember us!  We came prepared with name tags, just in case!

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We got the kids boxes of these goodies from Givral cakeshop!  The kids loved our stickers!

The teacher let us see the kids while they were having their special classes at the Peace Village.  Thank you very much!

They typically have porridge for lunch.  Lunch time would take longer than usual when it’s me feeding them!

With the kids and some of our caregivers are the Peace Village.  Everybody just loves their photos taken!

With two of our cute little ladies.  She’d constantly wave at me but too shy when in front of the camera!

We missed these little ladies at the Peace Village; always smiling when letting us into their room!

With the friendly and caring staff.  Thank you for taking very good care of our children!

The kids taught us how to count from 1 to 3 in Vietnamese so everytime we’d click our photos, we’d shout MOT HAI BA!

So nice to see one of the kids wearing the LVE shirt we got her last year! 

At everybody’s favourite spot in the Peace Village!  MOT HAI BA cheeeeeeese!

Two of our kids hurriedly went downstairs right after their special classes to say goodbye!

Always always makes our hearts happy seeing our kids at Lang Hoa Binh and spending time with them!  We will see you all again really soon!  We love you all!

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“There is nothing more beautiful than when someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” – Mandy Hale