Friday, April 29, 2016

Tea Talk CoRE Fund Raising Gala Dinner

Greetings.  Allow to me share with you that Tea Talk CoRE Fundraising Gala Dinner is here again and we would like to invite you to join us make an impact in the community.  Our social impact through the Centre for Counseling, Research & Empowering Community (CoRE) has expended. For a snapshot of our impact, you can review the videos of the various projects and events we have organized over the past few years at our official channel:

CoRE's yearly operating expenses is budgeted at around US$59 000.  Our goal is to raise US$120 000 through the different fund raising events throughout 2016.  This will give CoRE at least 2 years of operating expenses. To date, we have raised near to US$15 000.

Below ere are some videos highlighting Tea Talk CoRE Community programs and impact.
Interview with VTC10 :

We are asking that you consider supporting us in the following ways:

1) Sponsor a table for a 9 course dinner at Fortuna Hanoi Hotel with a donation starting from US$800.

2) Buy a few tickets for yourself and invite your friends/ business associates to the gala dinner.

3) Buy a few tickets/tables for the beneficiaries of organizations working with disadvantaged children, orphans and people with disability.

4) Be a sponsor and give a cash donation directly to CoRE in support towards the fundraising effort.

5) Be a sponsor and give in-kind donations like gift vouchers, electronic and household appliances for lucky draws.

Donations are welcomed even if you cannot make it to the event.
Click on the links below

In Vietnam - CoRE's bank account
Bank name:  BIDV
Number account: 22010000592607
Address:Thang Long Branch

In Singapore, please contact for bank transfer details.

For a receipt of your donation, please email Ms. Hong at

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dead or alive?

Dead or alive?
What come to mind when you look at the picture on the left?  Is the plant dead or alive?   I bought this plant 2 weeks before Tet, the lunar new year here in Vietnam.  It was a beautiful plant with interesting flowers.  My helper Ms. Hai who have been working for us the past 15 years looked at my new "buy" and laugh at me saying, "Michael, your plant will be dead in two weeks.  Nonetheless, enjoy it while you can."  

The day I brought the plant home.

During this festive period, it is also my family tradition to make a trip back to Singapore around that time to celebrate Chinese New Year.  9 days later, we returned to Hanoi and the blossom were gone and the plant was dried up because I did not water it during our absence from home.  Just as Ms. Hai predicted.  Looking at the plant, I asked myself the question: "Dead or Alive?"  I had wanted to throw it out.  However, for unknown reasons, I decided to cut back on the branches and kept watering it.  For 2 months, I watered it.

Yesterday, 10th April 2016, I noticed something interesting happened.  Like a miracle, new life sprouted.  I can't imagine what seems so dead as indeed still alive.  In fact, as new leaves start to sprout, I can imagine the bloom that will one day come again in the future.  I am glad I did not throw the plant out when all seems so dried up and dead.  

New growth!
In fact, I have been similar thoughts about Tea Talk.  Tea Talk celebrated it's 4th Anniversary recently.  Many times, outwardly, I feel I am wasting away.  Over the past 4 years, I have contemplated on numerous occasions to "throwing it out" or to give up.  But each time I feel like giving up, a new spark of hope rekindled my spirit to press on.  The past 4 years have been extremely tough.  And I do not know how the future of Tea Talk looks like. However, on Saturday, when each of the Tea Talkers shared their stories,  I saw up-closed once again sprouts of new leaves, new life and new hope in the eyes of those who shared their stories.  Guess Tea Talk will have to keep pressing on, and set it's sight on the hope that sustains it.