This page talks about Chef Rang's plans for charity, including a story about previous charitable works.
For all my life, I've always tried to give back to society and the community if I can. Because I was a homeless shortly after my mom passed away, I promised myself I would never forget about my past life and that I would do everything I can to give back to those in need, especially hungry children.
Me and the kids in Vietnam
For many years, I've fed the homeless along Yonge Street in Toronto, especially during Christmas time. Every Christmas, I make it a tradition to make some sandwiches, load them up, and deliver them around the city to whoever I can. I enjoy being able to help those that need it the most. It gives me peace of mind and allows me to appreciate life to a deeper and more fulfilling way.
This Vietnamese native lady demanded money from me to take her picture
I always try to go back to Vietnam to feed the hungry children. Fortunately, I've had the opportunity to go back a few times, going village to village to find and gather all of the homeless children with the help of the local officials. I would feed them with their dream foods, but often, their dream foods happen to be something very simple -- just Banh Mi sandwiches and Pho soup. I do as much as I can until I run out of funds, and that is when I complete my mission.
Vietnam: Me and the little girl having banh mi for lunch while waiting to see her doctor
In one particular case, there was a 12 year old girl who I met on Phan Thiet beach near my hometown. She was selling lottery tickets, and I noticed she was missing one of her legs. Instead of buying a ticket, I asked her to sit down and have lunch with me. I found out that a transport truck ran over her bike when she was young and so her leg was amputated. I really wanted to help her, but I can't just give her money -- I wanted to help her in the long run. I found out that her father was an alcoholic and that her mom was using her leg to beg for money. When I found this out, I made a deal with her parents through the help of my family member in Vietnam. I told them that I would get her a brand new prosthetic leg, find them a place to live, and put her back in school if they agreed not to have her on the streets again. It only costed me $250 USD a month to help their family live comfortably. They were doing well for the first few months, but my family member found out and told me that her mom was taking her prosthetic leg off, and using her to sell lottery tickets again. I believed what I was doing wasn't helping them, so sadly, I had to cut the funds off to continue helping others.
Vietnam: At the local hospital, the technician takes measurements for her prosthetic leg
Helping people and giving back to the community gives me a lot of joy. I guess I got it from my mother. One very very sad story that is close to home and to my heart is with little Robert, my son Matthew's best friend. Rob was diagnosed with cancer at the early age of 9. While he was in the hospital for chemotherapy, his mom and dad would take turns everyday to visit him in the hospital. Robert's parents had to give up their jobs to be beside him during the difficult times. During all of this, Matthew was very emotionally stressed and often asked me, "What is cancer daddy?" and "Why did Rob lose all of his hair?", "Is he going to die or is he going to live?" Gladly, the doctors said he had a better chance to survive than an adult.
Toronto: Me and my son Matthew hanging out with his best friend Robert
Matthew wasn't able to see his best friend Robert until he was released from the hospital and was in a more stable condition. During that time, I did what I could to help out the family financially and still continue to to this day. Thank god, Rob is okay. He survived through the chemotherapy as he was able to overcome his struggles with his young age. His life is totally and completely changed, but day by day, things will get better. Until this day, Matthew sees him once a week. On the weekends they play games together and support each other by keeping each other good company.
GODDAMMIT, MONEY CAN HURT YOU OR HELP YOU, GO DO SOMETHING.
If you'd like to help out, you can donate to Chef Rang.