Supporting the community, the Lawrence S. Ting way

By Hoang Hai Van, TN News

Email Print

Lawrence S. Ting (L) shows then Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet a model of Phu My Hung. File photo provided by PMH Lawrence S. Ting (L) shows then Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet a model of Phu My Hung. File photo provided by PMH


It wouldn’t be sufficient to discuss Phu My Hung without mentioning the Lawrence S. Ting Memorial Fund.
Since it started operating 10 years ago, the fund has proved to be the “project from the heart” that the founder of PMH had aspire after.
Ting wholeheartedly considered Vietnam his second homeland. He once said that he and his wife never felt like a foreigner every time they were in Vietnam. “Anytime anyone called her a foreigner, she would instinctively turn her head to see if there was any foreigner behind her. She never thought she was a foreigner here,” he said.
Well aware of the hardship that local people had to bear, Ting intended to help the poor and needy and support talents through practical measures right when he began the PMH project. He wanted to establish a community-supporting fund called Tan Phu - from the name of his two Vietnamese joint ventures, Phu My Hung and Tan Thuan.
After Ting passed away, his successors carried on his devotion and named the organization the Lawrence S. Ting Memorial Fund (LSTMF) to honor him.
The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City approved the establishment of the fund in a decision dated Nov. 25, 2005. The LSTMF was first financed from the condolence money from Ting’s funeral and contributions from his family.
Since then the joint ventures of CT&D Group in Vietnam, such as Phu My Hung, Tan Thuan Export & Processing Zone, Hiep Phuoc Electricity Company, as well as other businesses and benefactors have raised more money for the fund.
For less than 10 years, LSTMF has provided more than VND225.5 billion for the education of many young talents and supporting many needy people.
LSTMF has already granted 70,760 scholarships worth more than VND80.7 billion to students across the nation. Of them, 4,736 scholarships were granted directly to outstanding high school and college students, and the rest through other charity and education-promoting organizations.
Besides, LSTMF donated 122 computer labs, worth nearly VND48 billion, in 96 schools nationwide.
In terms of healthcare, LSTMF donated nearly 15,000 wheelchairs to disabled people and built two fully equipped clinics, as well as paid for surgeries of thousands of poor children and provided many hospitals with thousands of medical equipment sets. Its healthcare programs were worth nearly VND35 billion.
LSTMF has also donated dozens of billion dong to other relief activities and community activities.
After 30 years of Doi Moi (economic reform), a part of the population have become affluent, and the living condition of another part has been more decent. That gave rise to more people’s participation in helping the poor and needy. Many businesses have competed with one another in doing charitable works. While some righteous ones prefer to do it anonymously, many others use it as a PR trick. But whatever their goal is or however great or small, such contributions are all valuable as the number of needy people is still very high in our country. In such context, the donations of LSTMF have been significant since they have been offered with all the hearts of the founders’ and organizers.
While discussing Lawrence S.Ting, Phan Chanh Duong, who joined Ting in founding Saigon South and PMH, tell us a story.
Ting and Duong once visited a rural village where they saw a group of young kids in rags playing happily. Ting, who would bring a lot of candies for kids anywhere he went to, shook their hands, one by one, and gave them the candies. After that, he asked Duong if he had looked into the kids’ eyes. “Their eyes shone brilliantly,” Ting said. “They never worry about their poverty. They never care about clothes. Those bright eyes are the future of this country. They are what we believe in,” he said.
That was how Ting, his relatives and partners and his Vietnamese friends such as Phan Chanh Duong or Trinh Cong Ly, see poor people, and that is also the guidance that LSTMF has followed.
(Tenth instalment of the Phu My Hung series. To be continued)

More Society News