Raising Funds and Hope: How NGOs Strive to Give Families a Happy Tet

Thanks to such initiatives, a happier Tet is brought to the less fortunate lives across Vietnam.

For Vietnamese, Lunar New Year is the most important festival, when people spend money on gifts, food, new clothes, and, of course, new calendars. Taking advantage of the vacation, many non-governmental organizations come up with ideas to earn money for charity projects through selling Tet-essential products. These acts of kindness allow for families of all backgrounds experience and safe and happy Tet holiday.

Raising Funds and Hope: How NGOs Strive to Give Families a Happy Tet
Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer. (Photo: Valerie Mai/ VNT)

When tradition becomes even more meaningful

One of the most popular traditions in Vietnamese Tet is giving lucky money to the young and the old. Lucky money is a small amount of money wrapped in a red envelope. As its name suggests, the tradition is believed to bring fortune and good health to the recipients. Lucky money has evolved over time, mostly due to Vietnam's economic development. Besides the amount of money put in the envelope, the young adults nowadays spend more attention to the envelope itself. These years, many choose envelopes produced and sold for charity purposes rather than normal ones.

"The tradition of li xi (lucky money) means wishing each other luck on the first days of the year. Our project to sell li xi envelopes carries the wish that our customers, the li xi recipients, and our children will encounter luck in the coming year," said a representative of Operation Smile.

Operation Smile, a nonprofit medical service organization helping children living with cleft lip and cleft palate, has been selling lucky money envelopes to raise funds for more than ten years.

Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer
Operation Smile's "Freedom" set of envelopes. (Photo: Operation Smile)
Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer
Operation Smile's "Happiness" set of envelopes. (Photo: Operation Smile)

This year, the team presents two sets of envelopes named "Freedom" and "Happiness," the two words taken from Vietnamese crest. "Freedom" was designed by Beany (9 years old) and her mother, demonstrating loving families and freedom to dreams. "Happiness", drawn by Cloud Pillow, are paintings of cute and vibrant flowers and babies to spread cheerful energy during the unpredictable COVID Era.

"With the designs, we hope to send positive messages to everyone after a challenging year due to the pandemic," said Operation Smile representative. "Our goal is to provide safe and timely surgeries for children. Therefore, besides the lucky money envelopes, we still hold a variety of continuous fundraising activities to earn a stable fund throughout the year. Through the envelope project, we would like to thank the support and trust of the benevolent people over the past time and hope our new year will be filled with peace and luck."

Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer
Children received Operation Smile's support. (Photo: Operation Smile)
Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer
Children received Operation Smile's support. (Photo: Operation Smile)
Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer
Children received Operation Smile's support. (Photo: Operation Smile)

All profit goes to the less fortunate

According to Operation Smile, all money gained by selling lucky money envelopes went to the organization's fund to offer free operations and treatments for patients with cleft lip and cleft palate in the next year.

Other than lucky money envelopes, many organizations design 2022 calendars featuring photos of their activities, people, and animals in difficult circumstances or exclusive designs for fundraising purposes.

Only Rice Is Not Enough has been working hard to earn money from their set of 2022 calendars since early November. "Each calendar is priced at VND 50,000 (US$2,18), of which production costs VND 22,000 (US$0,95), and the rest will be used to provide meals for disadvantaged children in the highland provinces. Each calendar is equivalent to four meals," the organization said on its fanpage.

Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer
Only Rice Is Not Enough's calendar (Photo: Only Rice Is Not Enough)

Center of Pet Animal Protections and Studies and Hanoi Pet Adoption, which have been producing calendars using photos and paintings of their disabled and abandoned pets for several years, said that the profits gained from such projects would be spent to buy food and pay for hospital fees for the animals.

"There are so many cats and dogs that have been rescued and are living new lives, but we can not put them all on the calendar. There are cases of happy endings and unrested sorrows. All of them carry the sincerity that we want to show everyone about what we have done for the pets after a long journey... With each calendar purchased, pain is relieved, a life is saved, a pet is vaccinated, a pack of pate is given to an abandoned cat or dog after days starving on the streets. We hope buying our calendar will become a habit, that every year our calendars are bought, just like branches of peach blossom, so that we know that every life is still treasured," says the Center of Pet Animal Protections and Studies.

Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer
Hanoi Pet Adoption's envelopes for lucky money. (Photo: Valerie Mai/ VNT)
Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer
Hanoi Pet Adoption's calendar. (Photo: Hanoi Pet Adoption)
Fundraising Products for New Year Vacation: How NGOs Strive to Make Tet Warmer
Center of Pet Animal Protections and Studies' calendar. (Photo: Center of Pet Animal Protections and Studies)

Traditional Tet is associated with images of "full stomach and warm clothes," as families try to prepare an abundance of food and beautiful clothes for all three days of the vacation. For the needy people, who lack good health and proper living conditions, this is sadly not a reality. As the holiday comes near, NGOs are busier with projects to ensure their support towards those vulnerable groups, making for a wonderful New Year.

List of NGOs selling fundraising products for 2022 New Year & Tet (To be updated)

Operation Smile

Hanoi Pet Adoption

Center of Pet Animal Protections and Studies

Only Rice Is Not Enough

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Valerie Mai
Phiên bản di động