Vietnamese kids in the UK are participating in the 'Cards for the Elderly' campaign initiated by 11-year-old Anna Hoàng and her mother, Hoàng Hà. Photo courtesy of Hoàng Hà
LONDON — Vietnamese children in the UK are bringing smiles to the faces of the elderly with 1,000 handmade greeting cards as part of the 'Cards for the Elderly' campaign.
Launched on March 1, the campaign is open to all Vietnamese children under 18. They can send the cards they make to Lennox House-Care UK and St Anne’s Nursing Home members in London who have been living in loneliness, unable to meet their relatives or having lost their loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, 26 Vietnamese children have registered to join the campaign.
The campaign was launched by Hoàng Hà and her daughter, 11-year-old Anna Hoàng, in response to a similar campaign launched by Rain on Me which provides a safe space, in the form of a support group, for those needing to vent about daily struggles and stresses affecting their mental health.
“When I first joined the campaign, I decided to hand-make 30 cards. After I sent them, the founder of Rain on Me sent back an urgent later, stating that they would like to recruit more people to join this campaign,” said Anna.
“When the letter was sent, I thought of the idea of recruiting other kids from the Vietnamese community in the UK. Thus, leading to the Vietnamese kids in the UK take part ‘Card for the Elderly’ campaign.
“We want to recruit more people because the more people that make the cards, the more that could be sent to the elderly.”
Hà, Anna’s mother, said each card will become an invaluable spiritual present to the elderly during this difficult time.
The card-giving day is scheduled for March 21 when 600 cards will be given to representatives of Rain On Me.
At the end of June, after the UK is expected to come out of lockdown, another 400 cards will be presented to the elderly in the two nursing homes in London.
On the occasion, Anna and her friend, 14-year-old Emily Nguyễn, will introduce their Vietnamese áo dài (traditional dress) designs featuring children's paintings from the cards as part of their Love Collection.
The card-giving campaign is expected to be long-lasting when the children’s paintings are printed into books.
“Every card counts, whether it’s just 10 cards to 50 cards, we appreciate every effort! Then it occurred to me, how could we record all of this? Efforts are memorable but we also want others to see these amazing creations,” said Anna.
All 1,000 cards will be scanned, saved and sent into a computer file to make a book “full of efforts and kindness," said Anna.
The cards made by Vietnamese children in the UK are expected to bring joy and happiness to the elderly in two nursing homes in London. Photo courtesy of Hoàng Hà
With the sponsorship of the Vietnamese Association, the Vietnamese Nails Association and a number of Vietnamese enterprises, the book will be released in September to mark the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and the UK.
All the money collected from selling the book will be donated to the Vietnam Red Cross Society to support the elderly living alone in Việt Nam.
“Helping is a way of rewarding yourself, for whatever good goes around, comes around. The moment you choose to take a good deed, the favour will be returned to you. Be sure to remember that the reward isn’t the only thing that matters, it’s just a fraction of it. The real reward is the feeling you get after knowing you helped another person,” said Anna. VNS