Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Year End Report

December 2008

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Fellow Volunteers,

A just-released study shows that brainwave signals associated with feelings of happiness, love, satisfaction, gratitude, mindfulness, and peace, can be measured. The study also confirms that happiness is the root cause of good health.

So my holiday message to you is to take a little time and measure your happiness, love, satisfaction, gratitude, mindfulness, and peace. Next, determine how you can better these feelings, and sustain them. Then, find ways to transfer these feelings to others: your families, neighbors, coworkers, people in need of support and help.

As we approach the upcoming holidays and another new year, I hope that I can continue to count on your support, your contributions, your encouragement, and your gifts of time. As an all-volunteer organization, your contributions and your donated time as volunteers allow KWB to continue it’s work with children in our communities and around the world.

A report of our activities in 2008, made possible through your support and involvement, is listed below, please review it and share it with others.

On behalf of our volunteer board of directors, our Global Ambassadors, our worldwide volunteers, our donors, our partners, and all of the children and people we have served for the last eight years since Kids Without Borders began, I wish you happiness, love, satisfaction, gratitude, mindfulness, and peace. Let the spirit of this holiday season last all year long for you and others.

all kids, one world

Son Michael Pham
Founder and Director (Volunteer)


Our 2008 Year End Report


Kim Browne – United Kingdom: Kim is one of KWB’s Global Ambassadors. Kim’s personal story is quite remarkable (read more at . Kim returned to Go Vap Orphanage in November 2008 and spent two weeks there to care for the babies. Kim started her own cause of ‘Helping Hydrocephalus Kids in Vietnam’ to bring attention and support treatment for the sick babies.

Michelle Huynh – Amherst College, Massachusetts: Michelle is a Pre-Med student working on her double major in Biology and Asian Studies. As a first second generation Vietnamese American born and raised in a tough neighborhood in Oakland, California, Michelle has excelled not only in her education but also as an active volunteer for many causes in her communities and her schools. Michelle was awarded a grant from the Fellowship For Action program from her college for a two month volunteer service sponsored by KWB at the Go Vap Orphanage in Viet Nam.

Linda Keeney – Shoreline, Washington: after reading the story of Thien Nhan, the Miracle Baby (, Linda and her husband, Jeff, mobilized her family to raise funds covering travel expenses bringing Thien Nhan and his adoptive parents to the U.S. for medical treatment. Linda and Jeff continue to volunteer tirelessly for KWB, helping us at the Harvest Festival, clothes sorting party, and many volunteer work events.

Alice Tian – Sammamish, Washington: Alice is in her senior year at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, hometown of KWB. She is one of the leading volunteers in the community and KWB fortunate to have her at some of our work events during the summer of this year. Alice joined us at our clothes sorting parties, and at our service day at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle. She manned KWB booth at the Sammamish Farmer’s Market, and at her school Community Service Fair.

Marah Williams – Seattle, Washington: Marah is a fifteen year old high school student. She traveled with her mother, Penny, to Viet Nam on the 10th HumaniTour in March 2008. Read her blog at .

Our appreciation to all of the sponsors, and the following organizations:
Kiwanis of Providence Point – Issaquah, Washington
Rotary Club of New City New York, New York (committed)
Rotary Club of the University District of Seattle, Washington

Meet some of the TM2F orphans:

· Lien came to the Hoa Phuong Orphanage at the age of two. Her father died from illness, her mother is severely handicapped and currently lives in a faraway remote village unable to care for Lien. Lien graduated from high school in the summer of 2008 with good grades. As other orphans, Lien had to move out of the orphanage this past summer at the age of eighteen to make room for other orphans on the waitlist. The TM2F program took Lien under its’ wing. She applied and was accepted into the Hoa Sua Culinary and Hospitality Training School for Disadvantaged Children in Hanoi. Lien moved in the school dormitory in August and started her study in restaurant service. A very bright and determined young woman, Lien works hard in her class and is working hard to improve her self-confidence. Lien is sponsored by Joe and Jean W. of Issaquah, Washington.

· Phong lived in the orphanage as long as he could remember. Two years ago, Phong completed his vocational training and moved out of the orphanage on his own. He worked in a small shop repairing and servicing motorbikes. Earlier this year, Phong moved to a new job working as a caddy for an upscale private golf course. He started taking computer classes at night funded by the TM2F program. Phong is sponsored by Larry S. of Bothell, Washington.


The 11th HumaniTour Viet Nam was in March 2008. A total of 21 team members carried with them approximately 1,600 pounds of gifts from KWB. Teachers from the Lake Washington School District donated computers which were delivered to Viet Nam during the trip. One of the computers was donated together with medical supplies to the Thanh Xuan Peace Village in Hanoi, a rehabilitation center for disabled children victimized by the Agent Orange chemical. Four computers were donated to start a vocational training program for children in the School for Deaf Children in Hai Phong.

The team visited the Dien Trung kindergarten and pre-school in the central region of Viet Nam and delivered gifts, and school supplies to the staff and children. The school in this remote rural village opened in early 2007 and is a joint project funded by KWB, Rotary, and VNHelp. The team dedicated a clean drinking water system funded by KWB and Rotary.

New clothes, toys, hygiene supplies, dental care supplies, children’s vitamins, and first aid supplies were delivered to orphanages in Hai Phong, Saigon, and schools in Dien Trung and Dalat.

Read more about the trip at . To sign up for the upcoming HumaniTours scheduled for March 2009, July 2009, and October 2009, please write to .


The story of Thien Nhan, named the Miracle Baby by media in Viet Nam, has reached so many people worldwide. Son Michael and Judy Pham first met Thien Nhan and his adoptive parents in Hanoi in early July 2008. Shortly after in mid-August, the family arrived in the U.S beginning the very first step of many years of medical treatment and rehabilitation for Thien Nhan to have a normal life. You can read Thien Nhan’s story and follow his progress via . Kids Without Borders has been actively and will continue raising funds to support medical treatment for the Miracle Baby.

Some of our recipients in 2008

- English Language Learner (ELL) students in the Lake Washington School District – Redmond, Washington
- Harvest Festival (White Center Neighborhood) - Seattle, Washington)
- Healthy Start – Shoreline, Washington
- North Bend Food Bank – North Bend, Washington
- Ronald McDonald House of Western Washington – Seattle, Washington
- Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Family Service – Shoreline, Washington

- Children from Belarus
- Children in Cambodia
- Orphans in Honduras
- Children in hilltribe villages in Chiang Mai, Thailand


Executive Development Institute (EDI) supports Kids Without Borders

It was Kids Without Borders’ (KWB) great good fortune to have been selected last year as a recipient of support from the Executive Development Institute (EDI). EDI is an organization that grew out of the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce 15 years ago. EDI was formed to help young Asian-Pacific business executives develop their leadership skills while at the same time helping Pacific-oriented non-profit groups solve some of their most pressing problems. Each year in our region six non-profits are chosen by EDI to work with a five person EDI team over a period of nine months. KWB was given a super motivated, extremely talented team of EDI volunteers to revamp KWB’s web site, marketing materials, and fundraising plan.

Our team was led by Michael Faulring, Software Quality Assurance Lead for Home Street Bank. Michael has a special affinity for KWB since is an adopted Korean-American and KWB does so much for orphans around the world. Michael demonstrated have extraordinary leadership skills as he designed the work program and used his team’s talents to produce impressive products on schedule. The rest of the EDI team included:

- Tuya Luehr a Business Analyst with Microsoft is originally from Mongolia, moving to the USA in 1998.
- Dzung (“Dz”) Truong, a ground operations and maintenance engineer with the Boeing Company. Dz came to the USA from South Viet-Nam in 1975.
- SmithaVuppuluri, a Senior Program Manager with Microsoft immigrated to the USA from India seven years ago.
- Weina Wang, a Senior Human Resources Business Partner with Microsoft grew up in Wuhan, China and did advanced degree work in Champagne-Urbana, Illinois.

This was a team endowed with extraordinary business, computer, and multi-cultural skills. Their major undertaking was updating KWB’s website and making it interactive, accessible, and easy to read and navigate. A new marketing video and brochure were built based upon newly developed mission and vision statements. Fundraising plans were brainstormed and KWB was included in the Microsoft Giving Campaign Day (see photo). This exposed KWB to hundreds of Microsoft workers and could be a long term fund raising program. Microsoft has already awarded KWB more than $2,000 based on the donated man-hours of Weina, Smitha and Tuya.

You can see many of the improvements wrought by Michael and his team as you browse the new web site. The work done by the EDI team has kick started a revitalized KWB and will pay dividends for years to come.

Funding provided to:

- Boys and Girls Club of King County, Washington
- Healthy Start – Shoreline, Washington
- Lake Washington Schools Foundation, Washington
- Rotary First Harvest
- SAMMI Awards – Sammamish, Washington
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer Readers Care Fund
- Seattle Times Fund For The Needy
- Shoreline/Lake Forest Family Service – Shoreline, Washington

- Clean drinking water system for a school in a remote rural village in Central Viet Nam
- Clothing for children in daycare of a remote rural village in Honduras
- Computer for Peace Village in Hanoi, Viet Nam
- Computers for School for Deaf Children in Hai Phong, Viet Nam
- Thermometer for hospital in remote area in Honduras
- Mattresses and rice for orphanage in hilltribe village in Honduras
- Truck rental to deliver new wheelchairs to remote villages in Honduras
- Mosquito nets for pregnant women in Gulu, Uganda

Some of the letters we received
- Reported by Ed Raftis, Mike and Alex Shimizu, from their March 2008 mission to Honduras:
… We shipped 260 wheelchairs to Honduras for delivery. We rented three trucks in San Pedro which we drove to Santa Barbara. Mid-way we stopped at a gas station. Five minutes later a car arrived with missionaries who were ashen. They had witnessed a car crash into another car, ordered the occupants out of their car, shot them and drove off with the car. Timing is everything in life.
We worked closely with the Rotary Club in Santa Barbara. They basically spoke no English but two young, lovely peace corps women working there accompanied us on the four days of delivering the wheelchairs. We drove out to remote villages in the mountains which on average took us an hour and a half to reach. Perhaps 100 would live in the village and when we gave out a wheelchair the whole village would stand around. Many of the recipients were in sad physical shape. Two were severely crippled, could not talk and could only scream on receiving the wheelchairs. Family members had no shame; they just cared in their homes for someone who most likely would be institutionalized here. The country is very poor and where we were there were virtually no gifts or crafts being sold. It made one wonder whether the people we saw in the remote villages had ever seen a tourist. When we would come to a village the mayor (many women) would take us to the home[s] selected by the mayor. We were only able to deliver 70 wheelchairs because of the distances involved so the Santa Barbara Rotary Club members have a lot left to deliver.
We also delivered nine full duffle bags containing new clothing provided by Kids Without Borders and huge sacks of rice to Dolores, a Sister Teresa type in her 70s--not religious but a heart of gold devoted to serving the poor. We also purchased a set of clothing for each of 40 some children in a day care which allowed their mothers to work. The children in the orphanages in Viet Nam, Peru and Honduras all respond in the same way--they want to be held by us. It is truly marvelous. …

- From Michelle Huynh, KWB volunteer in Viet Nam summer 2008:
Dear Uncle Son,
I hope that you’re enjoying a great August! I’m home in California right now, getting ready to go back to Amherst (school starts Sept. 2nd). I’m sending along a letter that Ly asked me to forward to you.
It was really great meeting you and your wife in July. Thank you, again, for connecting me with the Go Vap Orphanage. I had a wonderful time there. More important, the experience gave me a clearer perspective on my life and my academic journey – what I need to do to help these children. These children – Phuong Lan, Phuoc, Hong, … - touched my heart, Uncle Son; they become a part of me. …

- From the Ronald McDonald House of Western Washington Staff, October 2008:
Dear Mr. Pham and Kids Without Borders,
Your generous donation of children’s clothing and sandals is phenomenal! It is such a gift to be able to offer our children new clothes and shoes – especially when they have been here a long time and finances are tight.

Thank you!

- From Healthy Start Center for Human Services in Shoreline, Washington, August 2008:
Dear Kids Without Borders,
We have received your donation of diapers, and have been able to give them out to families in need already. We are so thankful for your generosity and for acknowledging how difficult it is for low-income families in our community to afford basic necessities, such as diapers. The families we serve in the Healthy Start program are grateful to receive help when they need it. Thank you again, for your generosity and compassion.


$10 A ‘Helmets For Kids’ scholarship for one elementary student

$45 Funding for one week class of the Teaching English Program in an orphanage

$55 One year school scholarship for one orphan K-12

$350 One year Teach Me To Fish scholarship for one orphan

$700 Two year Teach Me To Fish scholarship for one orphan

$900 Funding for one year on-the-job training for one Teach Me To Fish student

Any amount:
- Connect youth in our local communities through service projects.
- Procure and distribute new clothes and children products to low-income families, families in distress, or new incoming immigrants and refugees.
- Distribute new children clothes and products to families served by the Ronald McDonald House.
- Support other children service organizations in our communities.

- ‘all kids, one world’.

P.O Box 24
Bellevue, WA 98009-0024 USA
(206) 484-4830 Fax (206) 374-2944
An all-volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization

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