Saigon Auntie Runs Charity Food Stall, Accepts Lottery Tickets For Crab Noodles

2 minutes reading time

Saigon auntie’s food stall gives free noodles for anyone in need

2020 was a rough year for all of us, and its impact can be felt well into 2021. Indeed, thousands of people affected by COVID-19 are still struggling to recover financially.

Thankfully, we Vietnamese are nothing if not supportive of our fellow countrypeople. While celebrities engage in massive charity campaigns to raise huge sums of money, many ordinary folks also have their own ways to look out for the less fortunate.

A humble food stall owner in Saigon, for instance, welcomes anyone into her shop for a free meal, accepting whatever they have as payment – even lottery tickets. On occasions, she also gives out free masks for her customers should they need them.

She’s been doing it for 7 months

Image credit: Tuổi Trẻ

At first glance, Mdm. Trần Thị Quỳnh Mai’s crab noodle shop at number 135A Nguyễn Văn Tạo Street, Nhà Bè District, Saigon looks just like your average food stall. That is, if not for a note saying “If you’re in need, please come in. You’ll be served free of charge. Sincerely,” proudly displayed at the counter.

For the past 7 months, the 37-year-old woman has been welcoming disadvantaged folks into her shop for free meals. She told Tuổi Trẻ, “I don’t keep count of how much I give away, I just think the smiles and joy I get back are reward enough.”

Image credit: Zing News

Despite being 4 months pregnant currently, Mdm. Mai is still working over 10 hours a day to run her shop from 5.30AM-12.30PM in the morning and 4PM-8PM in the evening.

Customers can pay in lottery tickets

Image credit: Tuổi Trẻ

In another interview with Zing News, Mdm. Mai revealed that few people actually accept her free meal offers. Instead, most insist on paying her with whatever they have, from small sums such as VND10,000 (~USD0.43) to lottery tickets that they usually sell.

“I find it touching. They might be poor, but they are honest and honorable,” she said.

Kind auntie gives free noodles to the disadvantaged

Stories of good Samaritans looking out for less fortunate folks are not a rare sight on the Internet, but that doesn’t mean they are any less commendable.

All good deeds deserve recognition, and we wish Mdm. Mai and her family all the best.

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Cover image adapted from Tuổi Trẻ

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