A couple of weeks ago, KL, her Mother, and her 3rd Sister returned to her mother’s home town armed with a huge monetary gift from an anonymous benefactor. They planned to use the money to buy food and gifts for the children of the area, and they asked KL’s mother to tell the people they were coming and would be giving out “Love Packages” to any children that showed up at the community center.
The photos above show, from top to bottom: Assembling the bags with the food, candy, and small gifts; KL’s mom handing out the bags; the children waiting patiently for their turns to receive a Love Package; sister #3 handing out bags. The very last photo shows a little girl in a pink blouse and blue jeans carrying her brother. It is particularly poignant because of a few reasons–the small girl is 11 years old but the size of a six year old child. This is due to lack of enough food to sustain normal growth, and hardly any milk (a main ingredient of the Love Package) to drink while she was growing up; she walked 8 miles carrying her baby brother because she heard there would be some food, milk, toys and candy being distributed in the town; and despite the poverty, the children are extremely well-behaved, clean, and dressed in what are their best clothes.
The huge monetary gift went a long way. Every child who came was given a Love Package. Every child was polite and very happy to receive these special treats. They rarely get milk. Even more rarely do they see any candy. When I asked why the ladies gave the kid candy, I was told that there was no way to give them anything nutritionally correct for an extended period, so it was decided to give them some special treats–things that they rarely if ever see. There isn’t any halloween in Qui Nhon, but for one day on this weekend, the children of the area got a taste of something sweet, something good, and something healthy.
They were grateful, excited, happy, and enjoying the treats. KL and her family got a lot of joy and satisfaction in being able to help, and this “Pilgrimage” may well turn out to be an annual event. It doesn’t take much to make the kids happy, and the pleasure one got from distributing these Love Packages would last a long, long time.