OH my Nails ladies…I just love them. Every time I go to get my nails done, I get blessed in a new way. They are the owners of the salon, and their names are Tia, Cathy and Hannah. They’re Vietnamese, and Cathy and Tia are sisters. Today I decided to go oval instead of square, and amethyst instead of French tips. How exciting for me! Yes, it really does take very little to please me.
As Tia was working away, we somehow got onto the subject of Vietnam. Tia lived in Vietnam into her 20’s, she’s only been a resident of Canada for 9 years. She came from a big family, her Dad died when she was younger and her mother died last year. When she was little, Tia’s family was incredibly poor; they lived in a hut and went hungry often. In her teen years, her uncle moved to Canada, and managed to send money back for her family. For a dollar a day, Tia said that a Vietnamese person could eat very well.
As we were in the nail salon; me listening and Tia telling me about Vietnam and working away on my finger nails, it began to hail outside. The wind picked up and was blowing the hail into the windows with a force we rarely see in White Rock. Tia gasped…she then began to tell me how thousands of people every year lose their homes in Vietnam because of storms. There was a big Tropical Storm just last month. The poor people live in huts…and she said they’re so flimsy that any kind of strong weather will take them apart. Tia remembers having her own home, and one day there was a storm and her house was just gone. She was devastated. Imagine working so hard to have your own home, and one day it just…blows away. And there’s no insurance. And everyone you know is poor, no help there. What would you do?
I don’t know what I would do. Tia worked even harder and moved to Canada. And now, when she sees or hears about her people’s homes being destroyed and leaving them without hope, she cries. Tia, Cathy, Hannah, and every other Vietnamese person they know here in Canada sends money back home on a regular basis. They would never dream of turning their backs on their friends or family…even the Vietnamese they don’t know. Hannah’s mom sends money to some Nuns in a village so they can distribute funds to the local poor. See, here’s the thing: These women have families here, they own a business, but giving their hard-earned money to make the lives of people they left behind better is still so important. They feel the pain of the people still there. They do whatever they can to help.
Most of us don’t have similar experiences to motivate us. But if it’s important …shouldn’t we make sure we get some? If that makes the difference between caring and not caring, then I believe we should.
I suggested to Tia they fundraise at the salon for a month for those people who need food and shelter in Vietnam. There’s a number I’ll be calling to find out where to send donations. If this sounds like something you’d want to be involved in, please let me know.