2015 – A Boy Sleeps [Philippines]

I stopped outside a modern-day shopping mall on my way from a nearby Soup Kitchen.

It was around twelve on the morning of 7th July 2015. The boy, probably older than he looked, perhaps 13-14 years of age, was sound asleep close to the entrance of a busy high street restaurant and oblivious to everything going on around him.

The area he had chosen as his bed was dry and relatively clean. The ground had a slight upward slope to the restaurant door, perhaps with his arm, it acted as a kind of pillow!

Maybe it was exhaustion that led the boy to select this spot as his bed, or maybe he knew the canopy above would shelter him from the scorching midday sun. Either way, it didn’t seem to matter to him, nor sadly, the many pedestrians who passed by during his, by now, two-hour rest.

Then something unexpected happened. A passer-by, an old man, stopped and bent down beside the boy. He shook him by the shoulder and waited!

The boy slowly emerged from his deep sleep and as he did, the man, choosing his moment, forced something into the cupped palm of his hand.

The boy, seemingly alert to the man’s actions, continued stretching his arms and legs as he struggled to compose himself. Slowly he stood up and, in his daze, he watched the old man walk towards the restaurant door and enter. At the same time, he repeatedly stared back into the palm of his hand… his thoughts were his, alone!

Uneasily, the boy followed in the direction of the man but, after only a few paces, his path was blocked. He knew the rules, only customers were allowed inside the restaurant. As a street boy, he was barred and the armed Security Officer strictly applied the policy. Indeed, he didn’t have to do a lot to deter the boy, just show his uniformed presence.

The young boy waited for a time when he could catch the eye of the old man through the glass door. It seemed long in coming, but when their eyes met, it was overwhelming for the boy.

No longer dazed, he smiled, laughed, waved, jumped… and shouted, “Thank you, Sir,” “Thank you, Sir…,” while keeping his hand firmly shut.

Soon, the boy’s presence at the restaurant door was considered unwelcome. With a hand gesture and slow return walk towards the door, the Security Guard instructed the boy to leave.

Before the guard could open the door, the still joyous boy had walked back to his “old bed” and picked up a small unnoticed plastic bag!

The bag contained his sole belongings. He had placed it in the corner behind him while he slept. It was a small bag of cooked rice, shared with him earlier in the morning by another street child.

– Anne

Since 2015 Food For Street Children [Philippines]

2015 Appeal – Assistance for Disabled In Homes [Vietnam]

Young boy with encephalitis.

Name: Ho Le Xxxx

My son is a congenital encephalitis sufferer, ethnic minority and living in an extremely poor situation. His neck is not strong like other children so, he cannot straighten or rotate his head back and forth. His father works as a hired labourer, caring for the whole family. His mother is his full-time career.

Request: Any contribution will be very welcome for my son’s care and for finding effective ways to heal me.

Paralyzed child.

Name: Do Thi Xxxx

I am a paralytic. I was born paralyzed. Over the years I became a vegetarian. My parents are old and weak. They can not do anything to take care of my grandparents and their grandchildren.

Request:  Please share with me and my family in this misfortune, so that I can be still alive with my parents

Aged paralysed woman.

Name: Trinh Xxxx

I am a paralytic. I cannot take care of myself. I live alone and have been paralyzed for eight years. Everything that I need doing, I depend entirely on my neighbours. My family is very poor. 

Request: Your help will help me to live a better life and support the people around me, who help me every day.

Name: Le Xxxx

I am a paralytic. I am 87 years old. I was paralyzed by a stroke 10 years ago. My family is very poor and we have a hard life. I am living with a dumb child. I cannot serve myself. Lack of care, my life and my child have no hope.

Request: May you share with me this burden and give us some hopes.

Old paralysed man.

Name: Tran Xxx

I am a general paralytic. I suffer from paralysis, congenital heart disease, over 20 years. My family takes care of me. I cannot serve myself. My family is poor and very difficult. My father has to work hard, to feed the whole family.

Request: Please help my family to overcome difficulties, so that my mother’s burden can be released and she has more time to care for me.

Paralysed Adult.

Name: Tran Xxx

I am a general paralytic. I suffer from paralysis, congenital heart disease, over 20 years. My family takes care of me. I cannot serve myself. My family is poor and very difficult. My father has to work hard, to feed the whole family.

Request: Please help my family to overcome difficulties, so that my mother’s burden can be released and she has more time to care for me.

Paralyzed stroke victim

Name:Nguyen Xxx

I have been paralyzed for 7 years due to a stroke. My family is poor, my parents are old and my sister is sick. Life gets harder and harder. 

Request: To have some hope of prolonging my life, please help me in support of my family and myself so that we can overcome this difficulty.

Old paralyzed woman.

Name: HuynhXxxx

I am a paralytic, 91 years old and have been paralyzed for 11 years. I am completely helpless. I have a son with a disability. My daughter who already got married takes care of me. Seeing my daughter running day and night feeding the whole family and taking care of me, I am pain at heart. 

Request:  Please help my family.

Paralyzed 15 year-old.

Name: Nguyen Xxxx

I am a paralytic. I am 15 years old. I was paralyzed with a congenital brain problem. 15 years in one place. My family have many children. Life is more difficult when they all go to school unless myself. We don’t have a house, we are living in a rent.

Request: Please help me and my family to overcome these economic difficulties.

Paralyzed adult.

Name: Le Xxxx I am a paralytic. I have been paralyzed for 3 years. I live with my elderly mother. I was completely helpless; this makes my mother extremely miserable. Lack of food, clothes, poor housing. My Family Support: My elderly mother takes care of me. It is very tiring and stressful for her.

Request: Can you help me overcome this pain and hardship?

2019 Food Parcels For Disabled Adults In A Care Home [Vietnam]

Since 2015 Monthly Food Parcels For Disabled [Vietnam]

Our Everyday Angels

Old Chevy Impala car.
Small yellow-grey Cross

In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone.

The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck.

The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whoever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.

Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pyjamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement for her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money–fully half of what I averaged every night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, not anything, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in my home town? I wondered. I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn’t enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids.

I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys’ pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up. When it was time for me to go home at seven o’clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn’t wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.)

It was still dark and I couldn’t see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car or was that just a trick of the night? Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what. When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver’s side door, crumbled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.

Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in my hometown that long-ago December… and they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop!

Small yellow coloured Cross surrounded by lilies

The world is not all bad!

There are many great people in every community but they often go unnoticed or are taken for granted. Credit will follow them later!