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Vietnamese man uses writing talent to help those in need

Saturday, May 25, 2019, 16:27 GMT+7
Vietnamese man uses writing talent to help those in need
Nguyen Thanh Giang (left) smiles for a photo during a charity trip. Photo: NVCC / Tuoi Tre

A writer in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam is attracting millions of VND in donations for low-income residents through heartfelt stories he posts to his personal Facebook account.

Nguyen Thanh Giang, 31, a graduate of Quang Nam University, makes a living writing articles and poems for local newspapers. 

But it’s not only himself he supports with his writing talent.

For the past nine years, Giang has used social media to post heartfelt essays about impoverished Vietnamese and call for donations from local philanthropists to help those in need. 

His Facebook posts typically receive hundreds of likes and shares, and his writing has inspired donations from do-gooders around the country.

In 2017 alone, his Facebook posts attracted VND49 million (US$2,130) in donations from warm-hearted people from across the country to help victims of central Vietnam’s severe flooding.

But Giang doesn’t just do charity from behind a keyboard.  After receiving donations, he travels to remote areas in Vietnam to personally deliver money and take photos and videos in order to shed light on the issues facing struggling Vietnamese in rural areas.

Of course, working to help those in such remote areas isn’t without its risks. 

On one particular trip to the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong to deliver a gift to 63-year-old Tran Ngoc Hung, who had recently pawned his land ownership certificates to raise money to build graves for deceased newborns, Giang found himself in a road accident.

Fortunately, everyone on the long-haul bus Giang had taken from Quang Nam to Lam Dong was safe, and Giang was able to eventually deliver the $500 cash gift he had collected from a foreigner to give to Hung.

“I believe that if we do good things, we will receive good things,” Giang remarked about the accident.

People wait to get free veggie meals at the charity eatery of Giang. Photo: L. Trung / Tuoi Tre
People wait to get free veggie meals at the charity eatery of Giang. Photo: L. Trung / Tuoi Tre

Sometimes, Giang’s charity work hits a little closer to home. In 2017, as his sister was suffering from a sever blood infection, Giang was able to reach out on Facebook to find both domestic and international donors to save her life.

 “The more you give, the more you earn,” he reflected about the incident.

Occasionally, Giang’s efforts to help others are met with criticism, but he refused to let such negativity keep him from supporting those who depend on him.

“I have nothing to say. My actions speak for themselves,” Giang said regarding the criticism he sometimes receives.

As for his own family, Giang’s mother, 64-year-old Nguyen Thi Van, said she sometimes worries that her son was spending too much time supporting others and not himself.

“My husband and I sometimes give him extra money to cover transportation fees of his charity trips,” she said.

Giang and his wife also launched a vegetarian restaurant last year to provide quality meals at reasonable prices to poor people.

As the eatery also receives sponsorship from many philanthropists, the couple is able to give away over 800 free veggie meals each month to senior citizens at nearby hospitals.

Le Thi Le Thuy, Giang’s wife, said that despite their unstable living condition, they still manage to maintain their free meal campaign thanks to the support of others.

“We are still lucky compared to so many people suffering out there, so we try our best to help them,” Giang said.

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