A retired teacher in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta has been committed to soliciting donations from the public to have complimentary meals given to the poor for years.
In an early recent morning, Nguyen Van Mot completed his yoga exercise and rode his old Honda Super Cub to the Sa Dec General Hospital in Sa Dec, a city of Dong Thap Province.
The 80-year-old usually comes here to see how food is prepared in the infirmary’ kitchen and provided to diners.
Years ago, Mot persuaded others to chip in money to begin a service of offering meals gratis to poor patients.
The charitable work then extended help to school children from disadvantaged family backgrounds and latterly to lottery ticket vendors.
“You can’t do anything with an empty stomach. That’s why I’ve tried to maintain the free-meal service to people in hardship,” Mot said.
“I’m happy when they’re full.”
Over a thousand servings accompanied by warm drinking water are provided daily to the patients.
More than 600 members from charities inside and outside the province cook food for the hospital-based service, which has been available every day during the past 26 years, even in major national holidays.
Thousands of people who are school children and lottery street sellers have benefited from the second service of the same nature that Mot set up.
Mot tasks himself with seeking donations to the effort while other former teachers handle the cooking.
“Everyone here all admires Mot’s charitable deeds,” said Dang Thi Be, one of the cookers.
The elderly man is inclined to make any donation transparent by requiring contributors to sign documents showing the amount of money they have given.
He usually carries in his bag information of the plight of poor students so that he can conveniently show it to anyone willing to help.
Tran Thi Lan Phuong, head of the municipal student assistance society, said Moi is highly dedicated to improving the well-being of underpriviledged members of the community.
His private philanthropy as a retired school teacher is exemplary, Phuong added.