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A Family Habit of Inspirational Giving

Philanthropy for 8-year-old Aaron is a family value which his parents have been excited to nurture through the UNIS Hanoi programmes.

And as the School’s 35th Birthday Annual Campaign gathers momentum, his mother, Ahin Shin, is urging other families to give as well. She said, “We’re not wealthy but we’re conscientious with our money. Instead of buying handbags and other nice things, we’d rather give that money to charity. 

“The UNIS Philanthropy programmes are easy to donate to and we like to make contributions to mark special occasions in our lives such as Aaron’s first and last day of the school year, birthdays and UN Day.”

By integrating giving into their family calendar, giving has become part of their own education for their son. Last week, Ahin and her husband Eunjong Eom once again marked the most important day in our School calendar, UN Day, with a gift to the UNIS Impact Fund for our Solar Campaign – her family’s fourth gift already this year!

Since they joined the UNIS community in 2020, their generosity has seen them rise through our Gift Clubs, which are designed to help families decide at which level they would like to give to our programmes.

First their gifts were recognised in the Phoenix Gift Club ($1,000-$2,499) for both Impact Fund and the Emergency Relief Fund, last year as a Turtle Gift Club member ($2,500-$4,999) and this year, “We’re aiming to become Lân donors this year” confessed Ahin excitedly. Lân (or Unicorn) level gifts are recognised for families giving more than $5,000 in one year.

Explaining why giving is important to their family, Ahin, said, “My parents always donated to good causes throughout my childhood. They donated so much over the years, they were presented with a Citizenship Award in South Korea, but even the monetary award that came with it, they donated! So I’ve always thought giving was a normal thing to do. Once I understood why my parents donated to others, I resolved to do the same. I hope that one day, Aaron will understand too, the importance of giving to others.”

And even though Aaron is only in Grade 2, it’s becoming clear he’s started to follow in his parents footsteps and also consider others in need. “For the past three years, Aaron grew his hair to donate his locks to a children’s cancer charity. Even though he got teased for having long hair sometimes, he didn’t care, because he knew he was doing it for a good cause.”  

And this summer he was proud to have his special haircut helping to transform the lives of others. On his birthday, he donated his hair to the British Columbia Children’s Hospital, which was an especially moving moment for Ahin and Eunjong since it was where Aaron had also had surgery and spent time recovering after he suffered injuries this summer. He has also decided to extend his philanthropy in Canada and Aaron has decided to donate monthly to the BC Children Cancer Foundation.

Aaron and his family hope that by sharing their inspirational story, others might adopt their family habit of helping to ‘change the world for good’!

On Tuesday November 29, as the world celebrates Giving Tuesday – a global generosity movement – we encourage UNIS Hanoi families, faculty, staff and alumni to support our Community Campaign to raise funds to support our Scholarship Programme and our student-led bid to become the ‘first’ Solar School in Vietnam!

  • Find out more about our 22-23 Annual Community Campaign goals and Make A Gift to our Annual Campaign. 
  • If every family gives $35 to our 35th Birthday Campaign we will reach our goals to fund 100 new solar panels and a full year for a scholarship student.
  • Learn more about the UNIS Philanthropy programmes