While many Americans have received government assistance to help them manage the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, many others have not because of their immigration status. In the spirit of the Gospel’s command to “show hospitality to strangers,” Sr. Mai-dung Nguyen, an immigrant from Vietnam who has gained her citizenship, reached out to assist another newcomer when she received a Sisters on the Front Lines grant from Catholic Extension in collaboration with The Leadership Collaborative and the generosity of the GHR Foundation.
This single mother is raising three teenagers who are working hard to break the cycle of generational poverty and fulfill their potential in their new home country. Looking to offer a hand up, Sr. Mai-dung found a way to help each person in the family help themselves.
The mother has had cancer is the past and may be suffering a reoccurrence. She is afraid to see a doctor, however, because she can’t afford the medical bills. Sr. Mai-dung used part of the Sisters on the Front Lines grant to pay the family’s past utility bills, easing some of the stress on the family’s finances.
Recognizing the importance of education in helping these young people in this family succeed, she started a savings program for the eldest daughter, who wants to attend chiropractor school.
The middle child works every day after school to help support the family, but every day was a risk because he did not have a drivers’ license. This grant helped put him on the road legally.
The youngest child will be old enough to drive soon and wants to be able to help support the family as well. This grant will pay for her learner’s permit and her license.
It’s imperative that the mother of this family resolve her health issues, so the remaining grant funds will pay for medical care at the local federal medical clinic.
“I was happy to see the relief on the faces of this family,” said Sr. Mai-dung. “I am blessed to help them move into a future that is brighter, healthier, more secure, and hopeful.”