My father is a Vietnam veteran, so I never let a Nov. 11 go by without thanking him and others for their service — especially since our emotional trip to Vietnam in 2007 with a group of veterans and philanthropists. We had no connection to Seattle yet at that time, but coincidentally, we accompanied the Seattle Rotary Club and Son Michael Pham, founder of Kids Without Borders, on our first visit to the Go Vap Orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City.
Happy Veterans Day, aka Remembrance Day for our neighbors to the north and other parts of the world.
Southeast Asia is also on my mind as we are hearing worse and worse reports of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, with more than 100,000 feared dead in the Philippines and panicked evacuations causing chaos in Vietnam.
Jolkona does not have any projects in those two countries this month, but through our headquarters here in Seattle, we have ties to the Filipino and Vietnamese American diaspora. Check out this Seattle Times story for information on how these groups are responding, including links to helping the rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts through the Red Cross, World Vision and Mercy Corps. (Both WV and MC are also based here in the Pacific Northwest.)
And please check back for more information as we work with our nonprofit partners to help these ongoing efforts, as well.