comments 34

Humbling Beginnings And Giving Back

My husband and I came from VERY humbling beginnings. My parents immigrated to the States from Vietnam when I was just a few yrs old. Bringing four young girls with them, they spoke not a single word of English. My dad had two jobs, one of which was a newspaper delivery man.

Yes, there has been funny stories about it … like how he used to throw them all in the trash and said he did his job. We laugh about it now but it was very tough back then.

Fast forward to date, I can’t really remember all the experiences from my very young childhood but I do remember always wishing that we would live in ‘mansions’ like my school friends. Not in a tiny apartment with me and all my sisters sharing one bedroom. I always knew that day would come for us. And it came, but not without the help of many along the way.

I’m so thankful for those who’ve helped us and gave my family the opportunity to have this great life today. Grateful for the courage that my parents had. Grateful for this wonderful country for giving us educational opportunities. And because of this, it’s important for us to give back. B/c we were once the ones on the receiving end.

6ba465245b5411e2b4d922000a1fae83_7My oldest sister started this tradition of donating money to the villages in Vietnam so they can build wells for the local families. These wells can pump clean water to be used for bathing, drinking, washing, etc. No longer do the women have to walk miles everyday to fill buckets of water and schlep them back. All donations were listed under her children’s names and the well displays the name of the donor.

Following my sister’s footsteps, I started this w/ Zoey this past Thanksgiving. This was the first well (of many to come) that we donated and it has Zoey’s name as the donor. When she gets older, I want her to understand the importance of this donation and how she needs to learn how to be thankful, grateful, and give back to the less fortunate.

Who would’ve ever imagined that the little immigrant boy who used to clean toilets at a Law firm in high school, whose parents didn’t speak English, and lived on a meager salary to feed a family of 6, would one day practice as a Physician at the #1 hospital in the nation and sits as a Clinical Assist. Professor at Harvard Medical School? That little boy is my husband. So proud of him as a human being, a father, husband, and a professional.

And that little immigrant girl, ain’t too bad either nowadays. She’s also had a great education, obtained a doctorate degree, married to the most wonderful man, and has the most amazing little feisty baby girl. That girl’s yours truly.

Please choose a charity that’s close to your heart and give back whenever possible. It’s never too little or too late. It’s what makes the world go round. It’s what gives children hope and be the best that they can.

Have a GREAT Friday!

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34 Comments

  1. That’s fantastic. I worked for years at a “charity” hospital eventhough I could have made a lot more money at a private hospital because that’s where I came from. I also had my kids make a Christmas box (or three!) each year for a child their age and sex for the Christmas Shoebox Project. I totally believe in giving back. There are so many like us who don’t make it out – through no fault of their own – and never will have a better life than how they were reared. And it’s to each of us to help out. You sound like you have a fine young lady in the making there!!!

  2. I really loved learning about your past and seeing how you’ve created your future. What a beautiful way to give back and serve. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  3. That actually reminded me that you need to work hard to get a sweeter future….. and nowadays ppl are just granted an easy life.

  4. What a beautiful story. Thanks so much for sharing and for reminding all of us how important it is to reach back and help others!

  5. Reblogged this on wordsinthenight and commented:
    Such a great post and totally worth a reblog – Thanks for sharing this – being thankful goes along way and giving back is truly a marvelous gift of Love!!!!

  6. Great post Kellie. Love to hear stories like this, hard work, focus and dedication pays off

  7. I’m so glad you posted this. Reading your blog and seeing the clothes and vacations – it seemed you had not a care in the world – how wrong I was and goes to prove you can never judge a girl by her clothes – gorgeous or shabby…

  8. Aja

    Wonderful, wonderful post. Seriously, but judging by all the likes and comments you probably already know that. You are a wonderful person. Not enough people give back when they can.

  9. That is really beautiful. I love to hear wonderful success stories. Those of us whose roots go way back in America even if not in mansions often times become complacent and don’t realize just how much we do have. And how much people like your family have helped to make this a great country.

  10. Best post so far :). Lovely to learn more about you, and I bet your dad’s very proud of you.

  11. This is so wonderful. We came to Canada from Eastern Europe I remember how hard it was for my parents too!

  12. Such an amazing story! I just moved to a manufacturing town in Western New York and I’ve been overwhelmed by the poverty (30% of families are below the poverty line here). I’ve been searching for a way to fit in and help in any way possible. Your blog post is a very inspiring reminder for me to keep searching and work harder! Thank you.

  13. Absolutely wonderful!
    On our next visit to India, we intend to donate money to a school fund that enables girls to continue with University education after high school who might otherwise have to drop out because of lack of funds in the family. :-)

  14. my morning is so inspired upon reading this, I am doing a small project for my community like a school supplies giving for the students in the mountain and through your story it is like you are telling me to do more. Wow you guys are amazing!

  15. useyourcleanser

    You are very inspiring ! I want to able to help Vietnamese families, who are still struggling in life, to able to have a better life. I want to be able to go back to Vietnam and do charity work some day in the future !

  16. We share very similar background. Your post reminds me of the difficult time. It brings tear when I think about it each time but grateful for everything I have today because of my parents. Thanks for continuing to inspire me.

  17. Xed

    More than it being an inspiring story, the fact that you are proud of you and your husband’s beginnings makes it even more special. And for that you have my utmost respect and admiration

  18. I love this post! As a first generation immigrant, I can totally relate (my dad worked as a deliveryman for Krispy Kreme) – despite the less than perfect circumstances though, they make us who we are. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself at how blessed I am – I’m getting ready to graduate from college and attend law school – it’s beyond anything my parents or I could have imagined when we moved to the US 13 years ago. I enjoyed hearing your story and thank you for stopping by my blog – I look forward to getting to know you better! :) – YB

  19. Wow, Kellie, that is just a beautiful post and so inspiring. I have to share it with my kids. Lucky, lucky kids that grow up in North America and take for granted the good fortune of having their own bedrooms with private bathroom attached, dressed in beautiful things and never knowing how different the childhoods of most kids are. I heard a similar story lately from someone I know, and I wonder how North American kids will ever have the kind of drive and motivation you, your husband and your parents had to have.

    Thanks so much for that one!

  20. massielmancebo

    This is so beautiful! I was very inspired by reading this and I’m sure many others will also read this and whether they find themselves in a position to give, or in the same position of humble beginnings that you and your family used to be, I know that this will make them believe that anything is possible. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us, and many more blessings and good wishes for you and your beautiful family.

  21. This was so inspirational. A lot of times we look at material things and assume that it was given to a person or that they’ve always been well-off. I’m sure you and your husband’s childhoods were joyful, but to hear that you came from humble beginnings and are now doing more-than-well for yourselves is awesome! I love the fact that you’re embracing a charitable cause that aids in improving the living circumstances of others and you’re teaching Zoey these values along the way.Thanks for sharing.

  22. I think that is just wonderful. So glad we have people like you in the world, Kellie! Little Zoey is off to a good start!

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