GIA LAI — Over the past 10 years, a charity club in the Central Highlands has helped hundreds of people who have fallen on hard times.
Tấm lòng vàng An Khê (An Khê Golden Hearts) was founded by Phan Thị Nhung in Tây Nguyên, Gia Lai Province.
She has plenty of experience understanding difficulties the local residents faced as she was deputy chairman of women's union in Tân An Commune, Đăk Pơ District, for ten years.
After leaving the position, she never stopped helping people, and would often use her own cash to buy necessities for the poor.
Soon she began calling for support from other sources, and now her club boasts 70 members.
They became an invaluable part of the community during the dark days of the pandemic, helping collect medical equipment and other crucial items for health centres and isolation camps.
Thousands of gifts have been given to local people in need, Nhung said.
Đinh Thắng, a local resident from Bung bang Hven village, Yang Bắc commune, said the pandemic has caused problems for many families.
Thắng said he and his wife take care of their two grandchildren because their own children needed to move elsewhere to work.
"Since the pandemic broke out again, my children could not support the family. We faced more difficulties," he said.
"The essential foods from Nhung's club not only helped my family and others overcome the difficulties, but it also shows their kindness to the less fortunate."
The club has also organised charity programmes to present school supplies, clothes for poor students, gifts for children on the Mid-Autumn Festival and other gifts.
Each month, the club supports 32 people who are disabled, orphans, or even just lonely.
"As long as my health is still good, I will keep doing charity work to help more people," Nhung said.
She hopes her charity work will inspire more people and energise the younger generation, helping them choose the right path and help others.
Trần Thị Hà, a teacher of Kim Đồng Primary and Secondary School, An Thành commune, and a member of charity club, said Nhung has inspired many young people.
"Seeing her enthusiasm in each charity programme, I realise that the age for doing charity work is not limited, you just need to have compassion," Hà said.
"Since I joined the club five years ago, I feel my life is more meaningful, especially when I see smiles on the faces of disadvantaged people."
Trần Vi Tình, union secretary of Đăk Pơ District, said Tấm Lòng Vàng An Khê club has accompanied the local youth union in many charity activities, contributing to spreading love for people and helping those less fortunate to have more faith in life.
In 2021, Nhung was one of 10 people who won the National Volunteer Award, which honours individuals and organisations for their outstanding voluntary services and practical contributions to society. — VNS