Commentary: It does not take a wealthy people to donate their times and money to help the less fortunates. It only a good heart to reach out to help these less fortunates. These following people are impressive in their acs of compassion to help others as much as they can or even all they have. Their deeds are as worthy as any big donations by wealthy people and should be applauded.
According to Buddha’s teachings, selfless deeds are boundless and provide the best karma. If people were as selfless like these people, paradise would in front of us instead of entertaining the paradise in heaven.
A common Vietnamese phrase “Một miếng khi đói, một gói khi no…” or “A bite of food when starving is worth a banquet when full or rich”. One recipient was so touched by the kindness of a blind person and wanted to donate one of her eyes to her poor benefactor.
A number of charitable, poor people scrape together their hard-earned pennies to help those who are even needier than them.
They may be lacing in possessions, but they are emotionally rich and kind-hearted.
While preparing for her next day of work, Do Thi Giau, who ekes out a meager living from peddling bread, heard on a charity radio program that a five-member family in southern Kien Giang province relies solely on 10 egg-yielding ducks for their livelihood.
She was deeply moved to learn that whenever the ducks shed and don’t lay eggs, the family has no rice to eat.
After bicycling to the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Voice radio station, Giau learned that the charity program featured two needy families. She then got together all the money on her and managed to donate VND300,000 (US$14.5) to each family.
“I was broke, but I was happy,” she recalled.
A bread peddler for over 20 years, Giau gets up at 3am every morning, rain or shine, and pushes her cart loaded with bread and eggs through the streets.
She is extremely frugal in her daily spending, even when she is ill.
At one point Giau went through an operation to remove a tumor, and afterwards it was too painful to ride her bike. She walked home instead of paying for a xe om (taxi motorbike) ride.
However, she is generous when it comes to charity.
“Even when short on money, I try to donate VND250,000 ($12.5)to each poor family. Over the last few days, I couldn’t sell bread due to my leg sores, so I only gave VND100,000 ($10) to each household,” Giau confided.
“I’m by no means rich, but still far better than many others. So I give them all I can save,” she added.
She is now collecting used clothes to give the poor.
“I may look frail, but I’ve cycled to every home for the elderly and orphaned in the city,” Giau said.
Visually impaired golden hearts
Tran Thi Kim Truc, a blind massage technician and shop assistant at Nhat Hong parlor in Thu Duc district, and Pham Hoai Nam and Cao Van Minh, Truc’s sight-impaired colleagues, often listen to charity radio programs in their spare time at the workplace.
Out of her tiny monthly salary of VND1.5 mil (US$72), Truc always manages to send money to her parents back home and donates VND300,000 ($ 13.6) to charity.
“Our employer pays for our food and accommodation fees while we rarely buy things for ourselves, so we can manage to give some to those needier than ourselves, even in bad months when we receive only VND 1 million ($45),” Nam explained.
Nam added that the trio recently formed a group called Ngay moi (New day), which consists of around 10 visually-impaired philanthropists. The group also called for donations from their patrons by playing the charity programs they recorded from the radio.
“That method really works. We collect the group members’ and clients’ donations every week and send them to the radio station staff,” Minh said.
With the traditional Tet holiday around the corner, the youths, who haven’t bought new clothes for several years, are looking for overtime work to earn some more.
Truc also insisted that they be informed of other needy people to see if they can help.
An eye for good deeds
Visually-impaired Thai Van Hop, from southern Soc Trang province, said he has also helped some underprivileged families.
One day, to his astonishment, he received a phone call from a woman who he had helped and was now offering him one of her eyes in gratitude for his assistance.
“I’m sickly and can’t do anything to help others. By giving Hop one of my eyes, I can still see with the remaining one while he can go on to help many others,” said Do Hien Tam, who made the deeply touching offer.