A local charity group that distributes free vegan sandwiches is catching some serious attention for the dance routines they perform on the job.
|Mai Anh and Anh Tuan dance with a sign to catch the passersby. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|
Phat Tam club has spent every day of the last year, rain or shine, driving along Dien Bien Phu Street in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City offering free sandwiches to those in need.
Every morning, the group meets at 5:00 am to prepare free sandwiches for workers, lottery ticket vendors, and motorbike taxi drivers.
Tran My Linh, a resident of Thu Duc City, was one of the first members of the Phat Tam club when it launched a little over a year ago. The gratitude she receives from those she helps has been the fuel that keeps her delivering free sandwiches each day.
“Every morning I try to finish my chores before meeting up with other members,” said Linh.
“It makes me happy to see people so excited for a free breakfast. I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.”
It takes the group about 30 minutes to distribute all 100 sandwiches. Afterward, they all go their separate ways before meeting again the following morning.
“After helping the group, I return home before heading to work. I used to get pretty tired from waking up so early, but now I’m used to it. To be honest, I find it more uncomfortable to do nothing,” Linh shared.
To grab the attention of passersby, volunteers Tran Ngoc Mai Anh and Nguyen Anh Tuan dance near a sign that reads: “Free vegan sandwiches,”
“At first, we were pretty embarrassed,” Anh recalled, “but we knew if we didn’t do something eye-catching then vehicles would just keep driving right past us. Our dancing helps grab people’s attention and also makes us feel like we’re getting some exercise.”
It costs the group about VND500,000 (US$21.7) to make the sandwiches, funds for which are donated by the members, kind sponsors, and commuters.
Tran Van Thanh, a local driver, often stops when he sees the group and offers a bit of money to aid their cause.
“I don’t have millions of dong, but I can donate thousands of dong every two or three days”, said Thanh. “I want to support them so they can keep up their work and people in need.”
|Phat Tam’s bread truck on the corner of Dien Bien Phu Street near the Saigon Bridge serves free sandwiches from 6:00 am from Monday to Saturday. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|
|A needy worker gets a free sandwich in from two members of the Phat Tam club. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|
|A child donates money after receiving a free sandwich. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|
|A Phat Tam member gives a free sandwich to a laborer. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre|