Shop offers free clothes to people in need in southern Vietnam

Tuoi Tre News

Updated : 05/28/2017 16:28 GMT + 7

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Van helps a ‘customer’ try on a shirt at the ‘Zero Dong Store’ in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.

A woman from An Giang Province, located in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, has been running a shop that offers free-of-charge clothes to the disadvantaged.

The venue, named “Zero Dong Store,” is owned by Nguyen Thi Tuyet Van in Tri Ton Town, An Giang, which has become popular not only with local residents but also with people from other localities.

Despite covering an area of only 20 square meters, the shop offers a wide range of outfits manufactured by a variety of Vietnamese and international brands.

Newcomers who do not pay attention to the sign of the store are often surprised after being told to take their favorite pieces of clothing without having to pay.

“Regardless of your family circumstances, everything here at the store is yours if you want it,” Van said to her customers with a friendly smile.

The facility is always crowded with ‘buyers,’ who only take enough products to meet their personal demand, from a shirt to a pair of shoes.

Many have been concerned that the shop would eventually fall victim to greedy looters.

However, after four months of operation satisfying thousands of people, the store is always filled with clothes and footwear.

Nen Soc Tha, 38, who sells boiled bananas and cassavas on the street for a living, said that her main focus is earning enough money to support her family, thus dressing well has always been a luxury.

However, in the past three months, Tha, her husband, and their children have had decent clothes like any other family thanks to Van’s store.

The ‘Zero Dong Store’ in Tri Ton Town, An Giang Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The shop also provided new outfits for all of Tha’s neighbors.

“We do not have to pay for anything. We are not beggars either. We will give something back to the shop when our lives become better in the future,” the woman elaborated.

Give and take

The idea of the shop first started when Van opened a venue at Nui Cam Park in Tinh Bien District, An Giang.

With the name “Give and Take,” the place received old clothes and other products from donors and offered them to the poor.

When Men Pholly, secretary of the Party Committee in Tri Ton, noticed Van’s activity on social media, he asked the woman to establish a similar venue in his town.

The “Zero Dong Store” was set up at that point and is now supported by many volunteers who help classify and wash the clothes, and serve ‘customers.’

According to Van, the shop is actually a place where she receives clothes from benefactors and gives them to those in need.

“We named it a ‘store’ so that people coming here perceive themselves as customers,” she said.

A large number of donors, most of whom did not reveal their names, now keep the store running, Van added.

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This entry was posted in An Giang, Civil Society - Xã hội dân sự, Làm việc thiện nguyện - Volunteerism and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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