The smiles you see above are expressions of gratitude for all who helped Universal Angels Network (UAN) raise $27,400 for critical water and medical infrastructure needs at the Sewing Hope Orphan Village in Atiak, Uganda. From Left to Right, the smiles belong to: Father Jim Chamberlain, Ph.D.,P.E., Co-Director for Education & Outreach, OU WaTER Center; Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, Sewing Hope Foundation; Ann Huynh, UAN Founder and President; Kiet Huynh, UAN Charity Director.
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe has worked tirelessly for years to restore dignity and hope to the lives of young women and children who suffered unspeakable atrocities during the Ugandan civil war.
UAN Founder and President, Ann Huynh, accompanied by UAN Charity Director Kiet Huynh, were privileged to recently sit down in Dallas, TX with Sister Rosemary from the Sewing Hope Foundation, and Father Jim Chamberlain, Ph.D. of the OU WaTER Center, to celebrate UAN’s successful fundraising efforts and to discuss future projects.
Water; the universal solvent to the chemist. But to most folks, it is the sustainer of life. And, to most folks in America, water is by nature a plentiful commodity; even during drought conditions do you go thirsty? At best we are slightly inconvenienced with a lawn that is a bit dry. Water is at the tap ready for its use to serve our every need. Half way around the world in India, that is not necessarily the case. The people in many villages in far reaching remote areas live off streams, rivers, and rain water collected by hand for personal use. The environment itself can contaminate these sources of water, which is not good for human existence.
Universal Angels Network, UAN, has completed numerous fresh water, hand pump type wells in India recently (please see pictures below) illustrating the use of our donations and the people we serve. As a member of UAN, we may never meet any of these village folk, but I can assure you that we have touched every heart there by the thousands. This good work not only gives fresh water for drinking and growing food, but this water goes much further. Personal hygiene in these villages is less than desirable considering the lack of such basic needs. With better personal hygiene, children and adults will be less susceptible to disease, simply by having the ability to wash their hands and food products in clean water. Something we take for granted in our busy lives. Cross contamination through personal contact is a major contributor in turning a localized disease into a pandemic. Will it stop such threats on humanity? No, but education, coupled with lessons in personal hygiene, can certainly slow such ravages on humanity. It is these baby steps of improving people’s lives from survival into thriving, healthy communities.
Hope is something that can be a distant emotion in a person struggling for survival. Our presence through our contributions and those representatives of UAN working among the people of these villages give hope. When UAN drills a water wells in a village and then gathers the community around to demonstrate the functioning well by pumping fresh water, it surely evokes an emotion of hope and love among everyone presence. Perhaps to you or me it would only be a crude and somewhat antiquated technology. But to people that have never had such technology, it can only be an epiphany in hope for better days to come.
Having this abundance created in these communities also takes one worry off the plate for the people living here. I would not pretend to know what it is like to live day-to-day wondering where my next meal is coming from or if my child will survive the environment they all live in. But I do know that providing them fresh drinking water is a huge impact on these simple lives. In some ways it could mean the difference between life and death.
Many of you have given to this specific project and to the service of UAN without any expectations or caveat. You have given from the heart with compassion for those less fortunate than us with the only expectation of serving humanity in some simple but necessary way. I think it is important for all of us to contemplate the real impact your efforts have made here. You should be proud that UAN is one organization doing simple things for simple folks while making the world a better place. Let what you take for granted be a gift to the world and the good people in it.
On February 24, 2019, for the second year in a row, students, parents and faculty members of the Vietnamese program at Linh Son Buddhist Temple in Austin met with UAN representatives to collect donations and to celebrate another successful Angels in Training fundraising campaign.
UAN's Angels in Training program provides children with an opportunity to practice compassion and to witness how joining together for a good cause can improve the lives of others, as well as our own. As a result of their kindness and collective efforts, the Linh Son "Angels in Training" were able to raise $1,000 for the benefit of our partner, Sakya Care Foundation.
After emptying donations into the giant Angel Bank, everyone celebrated with delicious snacks provided by UAN.
After the final count was tallied, UAN presented a $1,000 check to Sakya Care Foundation President, Dr. Jowan Do.
It was an inspiring day for all who could see how seeds of compassion sown in the children's hearts, with mindful nurturing provided by parents and educators, are blossoming into acts of generosity and loving kindness right before our very eyes. It truly does take a village, and UAN is grateful for our partners at Linh Son Temple's Vietnamese Language Program and Sakya Care Foundation, as we work together to develop caring, compassionate leaders of tomorrow.
Special thanks to UAN Director of Education, Ha Phan, Ph.D. who coordinates our Angels in Training activities at Linh Son Temple.
Additional details and words of gratitude from Dr. Phan about this campaign, as well as dates for an upcoming Angels In Training campaign that will benefit needy children in Houston, are available by clicking below:
At Universal Angels Network (UAN), one of our overall goals is to spread seeds of loving compassion. In all we do, we desire to nurture souls by sharing wisdom and demonstrating unconditional love and compassion. In doing so, we hope that those who benefit feel gratitude and might be inspired to spread more love and compassion throughout the world. Operating from this core intention, we know that large ripples come from tiny pebbles.
In today’s chaotic, disposable society, we have a soft spot for two groups who share common challenges and needs:
Elderly people and children.
The elderly, while gaining wisdom from a lifetime of education and experience, simultaneously suffer the effects of declining motor skills and far too often, loneliness, especially as they witness and mourn the passing of friends and family members. Meaningful support and social connection is necessary to thrive as a human being, yet it can be quite challenging for those of us who lack the benefits of a nurturing family environment where shared knowledge and experience brings inspiration and hope for a brighter future. Childhood can be challenging enough for kids in healthy environments, but social isolation and a lack of positive role models often leads to extremely damaging consequences. One only has to watch the news to be reminded of the toxic stress and difficulties that young children face from violence in our culture, both in school and at home. Teen suicide rates continue to climb, as society debates the causes and cures.
Of course, social issues are complex and multi-layered, but sometimes it’s the simple ideas that can bring joy to an individual’s life. Ideas like UAN’s Angels’ Knitting Group.
Meeting on every second Saturday since March of 2018, the Angels’ Knitting Group brings together a group of dedicated adults and children who knit hats and scarves for Austin's homeless and formerly homeless residents at Community First Village. In addition to receiving the soul-nurturing benefits of working to serve others, the group reaps the cognitive and physical benefits of using rhythmic, repetitive hand movements that focus the mind and lead to a relaxed state, similar to meditation. Once beyond the initial learning curve, studies have shown that knitting can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and the stress hormone, cortisol, as well as provide a sense of creative fulfillment. Knitting is good for the mind, body and soul!
The dynamics of UAN’s knitting group setting, which includes current and retired educators, health professionals and psychologists, among others, manifests a symbiotic relationship between the younger and older participants. The older folks feel inspired by the youngsters’ energy and enthusiasm, while the kids benefit from a heartfelt connection with elders who offer sage advice and loving examples of compassion, all in a safe, fun and relaxed environment. Often, the roles are reversed, as UAN’s most patient and enthusiastic knitting instructor, Piper, is 12 years old!
At UAN, we are excited about the possibilities for our Angels’ Knitting Group, and we invite you and your children to join us. We sincerely believe that sometimes simply being in the presence of loving and compassionate souls who desire to help others, is all that is needed to ignite hope in someone who feels like giving up.
While knitting supplies are free for children, we ask for a small donation of $10 for adults to help offset the cost. Refreshments are provided.
For more information, please contact Marnie Roberson, at (512) 436-8105.
Universal Angels Network granted 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Status
Austin, TX – Universal Angels Network (UAN) is proud to announce it is now officially a public charity with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Contributions donated to UAN are fully tax-deductible, and UAN is now eligible to apply for government and foundation grants which will broaden its access to resources that strengthen its ability to provide humanitarian relief and assistance to those in need around the world.
“Obtaining 501(c)(3) status is a major milestone for UAN” remarked President and Founder Ann Huynh. “This designation will allow us to expand fundraising activities for our projects, here and abroad, that will help alleviate suffering for so many who suffer the effects of extreme poverty and other hardships. We are grateful for this opportunity to expand our ability to serve others.”
UAN’s mission is to provide humanitarian relief and assistance to those in need around the world. We seek to educate and inspire others to nurture virtue, kindness, compassion and joy in selfless giving. Charityis the forefront of our mission. We provide food, clothing, direct financial assistance, and more to those in need around the world. Holistic alternative healthcare is provided to those experiencing financial hardship. Education is key. In addition to helping build and supply reading materials for schools and libraries, we develop and support educational programs that teach virtue, kindness, compassion and joy in selfless giving.
On Wednesday, June 7th, UAN was invited to participate in a Health and Charity Fair hosted by Austin company Netspend at it’s north location on Airport Blvd. UAN was among 37 other health, wellness and charitable organizations invited to showcase their causes in front of Netspend’s 280 employees working at this location. Board members James Rannefeld, Kiet Huynh and Brent Howell were very encouraged by the response they received from Netspend employees who heard details of UAN’s “Angels In Training” program. So many people were excited to take Angel Banks with them and were willing to share email addresses in order to keep up to date with UAN activities. Many people expressed a desire to participate in volunteer opportunities and we met representatives from other potential partner organizations who share the same goal of serving others. What a wonderful day!
On Friday, June 2nd, UAN Board Members Lynda Lerma, Johanna Moya Fabregas, Tom Acklen and James Rannefeld participated in "The Heart of Business Summit", an event hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce and Austin Gives. This gathering of philanthropic-minded leaders from both non-profit and for-profit communities was an inspiring and educational opportunity for members of our board to network and create relationships with others who are all working towards a common goal of promoting service to others.
Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott opened the summit with a keynote address promoting "Texanthropy", a term that combines two of her passions, Texas and philanthropy. Mrs. Abbott believes that we are each called to service and she intends to make the promotion of volunteerism and service to others a top priority.
After the keynote address, UAN board members attended breakout sessions to learn best practices for creating meaningful and impactful partnerships with other businesses and nonprofits who align with our mission, vision and values. We received wonderful insight from talented and enthusiastic community leaders that will help us promote our projects and our organization.
The closing keynote presentation was from Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, hosts of the popular KUT podcast series Two Guys on your Head. Their entertaining and enlightening exploration of the psychological benefits of giving was perfectly aligned with and supports the claim promoted by UAN's "Angels in Training" program that helping others helps ourselves.
The event closed with a mixer hosted by Netspend and their award-winning band, The Mag Stripes, along with a closing set by The Memphis Strange.
Thank you Netspend, Austin Gives and Austin Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to attend this great event!
Thank you so much for visiting our new website and pardon the construction! Universal Angels Network (UAN) is a brand new nonprofit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian relief to those suffering around the world. Although the network infrastructure is still in its early stages of formation, UAN founder Ann Huynh is not waiting around. She has already been working hard coordinating relief efforts, raising cash and providing direct financial assistance for those less fortunate overseas. In addition to assisting children, adults and families in some of the most remote, poverty-stricken areas of the globe, UAN has plans for future projects to benefit U.S. veterans and domestic abuse victims. We are currently working on obtaining 501(c)3 status and will have bank accounts for online donations set up as soon as possible.
Stay tuned and check back here for the latest developments!