December 29, 2013
Dear Friend of the Vietnam Children’s Fund:
We hope this finds you celebrating the close of a prosperous and healthy 2013 and looking ahead to a brand new year!
For the Vietnam Children’s Fund 2013 was a year of ups and downs. We are honored and proud to tell you that Sam Russell, our engineer and in country director was awarded the Huân chương Hữu nghị Việt Nam. Known as the Friendship Medal, this is the highest honor accorded by the Government of Vietnam to non-citizens. This medal is in recognition of Sam’s work as the Vietnam Children's Fund’s representative in Vietnam for more than two decades.
On the down side, our construction work has slowed dramatically. This is due to the unrelenting down economy we are experiencing and the difficulties of fund raising. It is little consolation that many non-profits are experiencing the same as well. We are, however, looking forward to our spring project when we will renovate our first school in Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province. This school was dedicated to the late Lew Puller who founded VCF in 1993.
As you know, for two decades the Vietnam Children’s Fund (VCF) has been building elementary schools in Vietnam—often in the most remote and neglected locations. To date we have completed 48 projects which serve thousands of children. We have been able to provide clean modern facilities for these children who otherwise would be trying to learn in mud huts and crumbling shacks. Many of those young students have gone on to secondary education and universities. They have become teachers, engineers and medical professionals. We are very proud of them!
We would not have been able to do this work without the support of individual and corporate donors who have given so generously to better the lives of children. There are no words to express our gratitude.
There have been extraordinary changes in Vietnam in the course of 20 years. Yet with all the success Vietnam has had there is still no way the government can afford to build the schools it needs. Every one of our schools exists where none would if you hadn’t helped us make it a reality.
Our goal is to build two more schools. The Vietnam Children’s Fund has had a great run, that you have made possible. We would like to retire VCF with a legacy of 50 elementary schools in 2015.
We are deeply grateful for your past support and now we ask for your help one more time.
With all good wishes for the best to you in the New Year,
The purpose of the Vietnam Children's Fund is to remember the families and children lost in Vietnam's many long wars. The goal of the Fund is to close the past and look to the future by building schools."The project is an inspiring example of how people of goodwill can turn violence and tragedy into a cause for hope."
For pennies a day, many students over many years have the opportunity to learn and grow in a clean, safe environment. It is extraordinary that the fate of an entire generation within a community —indeed within the entire nation— can be changed at such a modest cost.
Contact us for more information and to learn how you can help rebuild Vietnam one school at a time.
NEW! Don't Miss this Two-Minute Clip from Talk Vietnam Interview with VCF In-Country Director Sam Russell
VTV4 Spotlights Yen Bai, VCF School
Vietnam’s television station VTF4 ran a feature story in March 2012 spotlighting the latest Vietnam Children’s Fund school. Located in the remote, mountainous province of Yen Bai in northern Vietnam, the new two-story school has eight classrooms and will serve three hundred students.
One young student was quoted as saying:
“I’m overjoyed today and would like to thank everyone for assisting us to have this brand-new school. I promise that I will try my best to study so that I could live up to the expectations of my parents and teachers. I hope someday I can become a teacher and I'd teach the children right in this school.”
Construction of the school was funded by a generous gift from FedEx, one of VCF’s oldest and best corporate partners. Watch the full video below. It begins at the 0:33 mark.
Ways to Support Vietnam Children’s Fund in your Workplace Campaign
United Way Donor Option
Many companies offer their employees a traditional United Way campaign. In most communities you can probably "write-in" Vietnam Children's Fund, on your pledge card. Please include our IRS identification number (521840699) and address (14162 Marquis Road, Unionville, VA 22567).
Some companies will match gifts made to charities by their employees. This is a great way to double your gift to Vietnam Children's Fund. Please check with your company's human resources department to find if your company offers matching gifts.
Government Employee Fund Drives
Federal, Military, and Postal Service employees will find Vietnam Children's Fund in the U.S. Government's prestigious Combined Federal Campaign. You can designate your payroll deduction gift to the VCF by writing our national code number 10021 on your Combined Federal Campaign Pledge Form.