When Dao Trung Tran fled from Vietnam’s communist government in 1981, one community welcomed him, the Philippines. Now, after the destruction brought by Typhoon Haiyan, Tran and Boston’s Vietnamese community wants to give back.
“When we left Vietnam for freedom, the Philippines welcomed us with open arms,” explained Tran, 58. “They treated us like brothers and sisters during a difficult time and that memory stayed with us.”
On Saturday close to 500 of the area’s Vietnamese community will come together at the China Pearl restaurant in Quincy to raise money to help the more than 9-millon people estimated to have been impacted by the powerful November storm. The storm known as Typhoon Haiyan is also called Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines.
“The Philippine people need help,” said Tran, a Braintree resident. “Many of us in Boston lived in the Philippines when we first escaped; they helped us in a difficult time and now it’s time for us to give back.”
Saturday’s event is expected to include an interfaith prayer, poem reading, and candle light vigil to remember the up to 6,000 estimated to have been killed by the storm.
“You have to take a negative situation and find some hope and that’s why we wanted to come together,” added Tran.
Tickets for the event, which went for $50, are sold out and the money will be donated to the US Philippines Society for disaster relief, according to Tran.