2019 was a productive year for the Han-Schneider International Children’s Foundation thanks to YOU! It began as usual with our organization charting our course for the year, but this time it was a little different. Not only were we dedicated to continuing our programs in Tanzania, Mexico and Cambodia, but we were also looking to serve children in a new country – Vietnam. In order to do so, we knew we needed to fundraise a substantial amount at our events.
The Sam Han Classic was held on April 5 at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena. It was well attended with nearly 70 golfers coming out to play and show their support. The charity golf tournament included several on-course games, including a hole-in-one chance for $10,000. While no golfer was able to capitalize on the opportunity, everyone enjoyed a beautiful day on the course. The event went on to raise $13,000 for our programs.
The discussion to expand into Vietnam was not done in 2019; in fact, it was something we had been talking about, praying on and planning for several years prior. In June 2019, all of our hard work paid off when the food shipment to Vietnam reached its destination. The inaugural shipment of 155,000 MannaPack meals were unloaded onto trucks and sent to one of the most isolated regions of Vietnam – the mountains of Tam Ky. In total the meals were delivered to 12 different schools with nearly 1,800 students. Not only was this a first for our organization but it was the first time our partner, Feed My Starving Children, had their meal packs served in Vietnam, a feat not lost on them. We will continue to grow this program with a commitment of sending at least ¼ million meals to these schools in 2020.
On July 26, our organization traveled to Las Vegas to join local volunteers in packing 900 backpacks with all the school supplies each child would need for the entire school year under our “Prepped for School” program. “It was touching to see so many local businesses coming together for this very worthy cause,” said Director of Operations Zachary Lopez.
We were back in Las Vegas on August 13 to distribute the backpacks to every student at Robert E. Lake Elementary. We received high-fives, smiles and giggles from the children as they happily collected their brand new backpacks filled with school supplies. During this time we also found out that a grant the school had been receiving was abruptly cut and programs would need to be drastically slashed or completely abandoned. Fortunately, we had enough funds to step in and help save two of the popular educational programs. “It was our understanding that the children loved these programs and we had the funds to help out. It was an easy call.” said Executive Director Arthur Han.
On October 19, the Han-Schneider International Children’s Foundation hosted its annual Benefit Dinner & Silent Auction at the beautiful Quiet Cannon ballroom in Montebello. The event was attended by more than 150 guests and we had more than 60 items featured in the silent auction. This year’s theme was about gratefulness. The night highlighted how you, our donors, have played an invaluable role in our accomplishments as an organization. That night our supporters were introduced to Maggie Holly, our newest partner and founder of the Tam Ky Project in Vietnam. In total, the night raised more than $30,000 for our programs.
Finally, in November, we witnessed 27 children graduate from the Meserani Preschool in Tanzania, while 27 other students from the younger class moved up to the next class. In addition, we saw 10 new graduates from the Han-Schneider Vocational School who crafted and demonstrated their skills over the past year. Their skills will now allow them to obtain a job to better their lives and the lives of their families. This time of year is particularly special to us because we get to see the fruits of our labor – we work so diligently to ensure that every child in our program is offered an opportunity for a better life and these ceremonies exemplify the culmination of our efforts over the past decade.
In 2019, the Han-Schneider International Children’s Foundation served 170,876 meals, bringing our total meals served to 5.92 million meals to date. While a noteworthy accomplishment, it’s our commitment to education that is truly changing lives. The HSICF operates several tuition-free schools to give these children an important foundation to build upon.
Thank you for all the love and support you have given us in 2019. We hope we can count on your support in 2020!