This page has been created to help raise funds for Johnny's non-profit organization, Num Chai Loas of Texas (Hope Through Serving Others).
You may remember Johnny from 100 Boats: A Hurricane Harvey Documentary (www.100boatsfilm.com ) In this documentary, director Syed Hasan highlighted the incredible work that Johnny did for his community of Little Cambodia in Rosharon, Texas. Johnny and his team of volunteers helped repair over 180 homes that were damaged due to unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Johnny has spent the last 2 years personally repairing these homes, going as far as putting his own business on hold until the work is done. With the help of local non-profit organizations, (SEWA International, Mosaic in Action ) Johnny and his team helped restore the lives of over 200 families in Rosharon.
Watch an excerpt from "100 Boats: A Hurricane Harvey Documentary." Johnny talks about rebuilding houses for the people of Rosharon, TX.
Now, Johnny would like to move on to the next phase of rebuilding Rosharon! Johnny has a very ambitious plan to build a community center for the children of Rosharon. This community center would offer specialized classes for children (arts and crafts, skill development, farming, etc.) as well as a game room, computer room, and basketball court for the youth of Rosharon. Currently, over 100+ children between the ages of 5-12 live in Rosharon. Most of these children can be found roaming the streets after school with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Johnny strongly believes in providing resources for the youth of Rosharon so they may learn some much-needed skills and help bring their families out of poverty.
Johnny would also like to build a greenhouse next to the community center in an effort to teach students about cultivating and farming produce. In an effort to make the community center self-sufficient, Johnny plans to sell the produce grown at the community center greenhouse to cover any bills associated with the community center (electricity, internet, water, sewage, maintenance, etc.)
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The measurements for the community center are 40'X 120'. It will have between 2-3 rooms (study room, game room, community room).
The measurements for the greenhouse are 30'X120'. Johnny estimates a monthly income of $4-5k from selling produce grown in the greenhouse. This income will be used to cover all costs related to the community center (internet, electricity, water, sewage, food, etc.)
Although Johnny has a lot of his own tools, the materials, labor, and concrete for this project are costly. Here is a breakdown of the invoice that was provided by a local contractor:
Labor & Equipment......................................................................$21,000
Materials (Metal building, Rollup doors, windows)........$82,000
Johnny needs your help to make this project a reality! This project will be completed in phases:
Build a greenhouse for the community center
Install septic tank and water well for the community center
Pour concrete for the community center
Build the community center
An excerpt from "Little Cambodia: An American Town Build By Immigrants"
Written by Anna Natividad, one of the student volunteers from MARDIGRAS
"The constant work that goes on in the week can be exhausting, but Johnny and his family make up for it. Being able to be in contact with him and his family gives you that sense of community. A community that is unlike any other community you step foot in. The only thing that matters to him is that you are a true, authentic trustful person who is willing to help out a community that has not been noticed by the masses. He treats you as if you are one of his own. Often times, Johnny refers to us as all of his children. The concept of family is evident in Little Cambodia. Language barriers may cause communication to be difficult, but that sense of family ties us all together. To him, we are not just a bunch of volunteers who step in the community, build a few houses, and leave. To him, we are his own pseudo-blood relatives. That is something that most traditional concepts of families do not encompass.
If you have never been to Rosharon, you may be nervous about being placed in the community for a week straight. You spend most of your days inside the community. You are not out sightseeing or hanging out at the many attractions nearby Houston has to offer. Some are scared or feel unwelcome, but Johnny, Hann, and Damon make sure we all feel comfortable in the community. Johnny tells all of us, “Whatever you see in this house, you can have.” Clearly, we are not going to take anything home with us, but it is the sentiment that encompasses the feeling of being welcomed. It is that shared openness and care that tells us that we are welcome here. Feeling welcomed is the smile that community members give us when they see all of us drive down the street in our minivans that have the doors fully open. It is coming to Johnny’s house and already smelling the food Damon and Hann made for us even if we are far away from the entrance of the house. Being welcomed by them is something special. It mirrors the love that people have for a relative that returns from a long journey. It is a feeling of longing and belonging."
3D Render of the community center. The measurements for the community center are 40'X 120'. It will have between 2-3 rooms (study room, game room, community room).
Floor plan for the community center.
Land that Johnny has generously donated for the community center.
Johnny and his team of student volunteers work to build a house for one of the families in Rosharon who lost their house during Hurricane Harvey.
Johnny hard at work installing floorboards inside a home. Johnny and his team of volunteers helped repair over 180 homes that were damaged due to unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
Johnny (in blue) and his crew of student volunteers from MARDIGRAS Marquette, a college organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Students from Marquette University have been traveling to Rosharon to help Johnny rebuild houses for the last 2 years.
An example of a greenhouse being repaired by Johnny and his team
Poster for "100 Boats: A Hurricane Harvey Documentary." 100 Boats features the work that was done by Johnny in Rosharon during Hurricane Harvey.
100 Boats Documentary
"Volunteers Help Rebuild Little Cambodia After Harvey"
KHOU-11 Interview with Johnny
"It Takes a Texas Village to Raise Spinach"
Texas Monthly Coverage
"Honoring Harvey Heroes"
The Buzz Magazine
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