Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thank You USS Peleliu!!

Last month, the Children of Vietnam got a very big surprise--a donation of goods valued at $20,000 from the USS Peleliu of our US Navy!

In mid-July, one of our board members, Nancy Letteri, was in Danang, Vietnam working hard on a grant for COV when she and Dannia Southerland, another COV consultant, met a navy team from the US navy ship, USS Peleliu. The USS Peleliu was in Southeast Asia as part of its 2007 Pacific Partnership mission. After talking with Nancy and Dannia, they met the Danang staff and were so impressed with COV's work that they wanted to donate 6 large crates filled with toys, medical supplies, sewing machines and fabric!

Mrs. Huong, our wonderful program director in Danang, along with our diligent Danang staff, worked hard negotiating with Danang Customs and managed to get all of the donations quickly cleared through customs --an amazing feat in itself! Thank you staff!

The USS Peleliu was so impressed that they invited COV's Danang staff aboard the USS Peleliu for a ship tour and reception also attended by the Chairman of Danang People's Committee and other dignitaries.
Here are some pictures of their wonderful afternoon aboard the USS Peleliu...

After COV's exciting visit aboard the USS Peleliu, Ben Wilson, COV President, received the following email from Lt. Kent Hepler of the USS Peleliu...

"Mr. Wilson,

I want to begin by saying that it has truly been an honor to work with your team here in Danang!

Ms. Huong and the rest of the Children of Vietnam team in Danang are remarkable people! I was impressed with the organization instantly and that sentiment has only continued to grow. When we originally met with Ms. Huong, we were of the understanding that the government had cleared all of the donations through customs; she would only need to accept the gear. However, the day prior to the ship's arrival, we found out that there was a completely different customs requirement necessary for donations to NGO's. Ms. Huong immediately shifted gears, began coordinating with all governmental agencies here, and clearly relayed all of the requirements necessary. Without Ms. Huong's assistance, there is no way we would have been able to complete the paperwork necessary to deliver the gear prior to the ship departing. After Ms. Huong spent countless hours with Vietnam customs, we were able to deliver the materials. The ceremony yesterday was a very memorable time for all of us!

I noticed that you are located in Winston-Salem. I lived in Asheboro, NC for a few years and still have many friends in the region. If it is okay with you, I would like to meet sometime and learn more about your organization. Of all organizations I worked with in Danang, Children of Vietnam is by far the organization that impressed me the most!!

I look forward to hearing from you again and can not stress enough how impressed I was with your organization here. The team in Danang truly "gets it" and it is evident how much they are focused on improving the lives of those in need.


LT Kent Hepler"

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