By Kathy Swaller, Board Member
Dan and his brother, Cowboy have been an integral part of the Isaiah 58 Ministries community for many years. The brothers come for Fresh Food Fridays nearly every week, often assisted by their sister Minhdin. While many of the pantry guests come from around the corner, Dan and Cowboy came from across the ocean.
Dan and his siblings were born in Vietnam during the war. Their mother, who worked for the United States government, was able to begin the journey to this country in 1984. They arrived in St Louis in May of 1985 after stops in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and San Francisco. During their one year in the Philippines, their mother added English to her fluency in French, Japanese and Vietnamese to facilitate their entry into the US. Once in St Louis, she very quickly found employment to support her family. She worked full time up until she was 79 years old.
Minhdin says the family loves being part of the Isaiah 58 Ministries community: “There is always someone willing to help, if ever there is a need.” The Nguyen family is always ready to help the Isaiah community as well. Minhdin helps care for her brother, including assisting with shopping on Fridays. And Dan is the first to step up to assist volunteers unloading the truck, setting up tables or entertaining our youngest guests. Somehow Dan also knows whenever anyone needs a smile or a hug.
Isaiah 58 Ministries is a better place because of community members like Dan and his family. And now the United States is a better place too; on March 20 Dan became a US citizen. Congratulations Dan!