Current Projects

Last Updated Saturday, March 18, 2017

RightStart4Kids continues to volunteer at Ronald McDonald House Charities cooking brunches in Chicago and Milwaukee. 

Our international focus over the last couple of years has shifted our focus to partnering with local non-government charity organizations (NGOs). We are finding a few small changes are making big impacts by supporting heads-of-households with young kids.


Here is a summary of our major current projects:

Chicagoland Learning Leaders Executive Learning Exchange's Rightstart4Kids Scholarship (NEIU, Chicago IL USA) *** ACTIVE PROJECT ****

Each year, an NEIU sophomore, junior or senior minority student undergraduate student in HR Development with a GPA of 3.4 or more can apply.

This is a completely funded endowment scholarship so it is set-up to annually provide a scholarship to a minority student in financial need FOREVER. NEIU Foundation 2015 Scholarship PDF can be found online here with more details on how to learn more.


Click here to learn more on this RS4K project and how you can make a difference.

The David Gotaas Rotary/NEIU Social Work Scholarship Challenge (NEIU, Chicago IL USA) *** ACTIVE PROJECT ****

We are working on funding our 2nd NEIU Foundation Endowment Scholarship where RightStart4Kids will match the first $10,000 donated dollar for dollar. As of March 2017, $2,050 of $10,000 initial goal has been raised.

“Making a Difference” is Rotary’s 2017-2018 theme. Will your gift to the world be a lasting one? Consider donating to the Masters of Social Work David Gotaas Rotary Endowed Scholarship at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) that will provide financial assistance to a NEIU student each year in perpetuity. NEIU social work students tackle some of the most difficult social problems we face in our communities, our country, and internationally. This program prepares tomorrow’s clinical social workers, generalist social workers and the social policy-makers. Scholarship selection guidelines will be developed by the funding Rotary Clubs and the Northeastern Illinois University Foundation.


Click here to learn more on this RS4K project and how you can make a difference.

Learning Leaders Cooking Brunch @ Ronald McDonald House of Eastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee WI USA) *** ACTIVE PROJECT ****

The Executive Learning Exchange & RightStart4Kids are helping Ronald McDonald House® of Eastern Wisconsin by recruiting 6-10 volunteers to help cook Saturday brunch for RMH at 8949 Watertown Plank Road in Wauwatosa, WI.

Here our the 2017 quarterly volunteer opportunities you can learn more about by visiting our event calendar: 2016 Cooking Brunch for Ronald McDonald House -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA)

WHAT MAKES 'FAMILY DINNERS' SO IMPORTANT? For many families, an evening meal together is a very special ritual. While many of us take for granted a home cooked meal, our guest families who often return to the House exhausted after a long day at the hospital, are immensely grateful for this simple gesture.


2007-2017 Feed the Disadvantaged Kids at AnGiang Orphanage (An Giang, Vietnam - Asia) *** ACTIVE PROJECT ****

We first visited AnGiang Orphanage in 2007 as Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club was preparing to visit for the library dedication at Khai Tri Orphanage. Every time we come to the Mekong Delta, we check in and bring some clothing, toys and medicine. This time they specifically asked for Milk after losing all their U.S. sponsor when international adoptions were terminated. Only $300 USD provides enough for all the kids for a month ($10 USD/day).

Click here to learn more on this RS4K project and how you can make a difference.

Donate now to help provide milk for AnGiang Orphanage (RS4K was planning to close this project on December 31, 2010, but we were asked to start helping again in 2012).

2010-2017 Mekong Delta Vietnam Eye Surgeries (An Giang & Can Tho, Vietnam - Asia) *** ACTIVE PROJECT ****

Introduced to RightStart4Kids by Medical Aid Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization also located in Chicago, Illinois USA around 2010. Medical Aid Project donated medical equipment to the Can Tho Eye Hospital so local doctors can perform cataract surgeries and eye operations. We make annual in-person visits to provide cash donations for current projects and keep current relationships strong (in 2015 Tom and Dirk made four trips to the Mekong Delta to discuss with local charity associations how we can add value to their good work).

Partnering with RightStart4Kids (a Chicago-based NGO in USA), Tom Nguyen and Dirk in November 2016 Vietnam mission worked with a local Ag Giang NGO to provide 800 cataract operations in rural Mekong Delta. In 2017 we helped with 308 cataract operations. Here are a few pics for 70-90 recipients treated on November 18, 2016. RS4K donation is only $2-$3 USD, significantly discounted for this operation thanks to local surgeons donating their time.

2016 RS4K Vietnam Cataract Surgeries

The local NGO is the Association for the Support People with Disabilities-Orphans-poor patient An Giang province (Founded in 1993). From January 2016 report we found online, the following was translation from Vietnamese to English: "they have always been the gathering place of gold hearts, who are devoted to their work charitable society in the province. Pass that along to the State to care for the unfortunate, they are the poor, the most difficult in the poor, pitiful circumstances in life that they can not alone overcome the difficulties which require the help of a social community." Included in the pictures below is a copy of a letter explaining in Vietnamese the November 18, 2016 An Giang group.


2013-2017 Project Good Hearts - RS4K Vietnam (An Giang & Can Tho - Vietnam - Asia) *** ACTIVE PROJECT ****

Project Good Hearts provides heart surgeries for children or their guardians in need. In June 2013, we held our annual fundraising dinner and raised $25,000 to help 10 kids--at the time, every $2,500 USD provides a child with a new heart & second chance of life.

In 2014, RightStart4Kids started partnering with local NGOs to provide more impact. Two lessons learned have been: 1) many times NGOs in Vietnam have more difficulty finding international donors for kid's parents (it seems most charities focus on providing money for kids) and 2) there are some local NGOs that do a good job coordinating various funding sources with other government departments and agencies, unions, insurance companies, social organizations and other charitable associations. We now are averaging $1,500 USD can provide someone with a second chance at life.

Here are the three 2015-2016 Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients City Can Tho recipients with more details in our facebook photo album:

2016 RS4K Project Good Hearts


2017 Cancer Therapy (Chemo/Radiation/Surgery) - RS4K Vietnam (An Giang - Asia) *** ACTIVE PROJECT ****

RightStart4Kids newest project is "2016 Cancer Therapy (Chemo/Radiation/Surgery) - RS4K Vietnam." During Tom Nguyen Sept 2016 trip to Vietnam he learned about a local program to help provide cancer treatment to the poor. Partnering with a local elderly donor in An Giang Tom has known his whole life and paying only 5% of the treatment cost, people who can't afford cancer treatment now will get it.

Here are some of the initial recipients under consideration. Tom is helping provide advice on criteria so their funds are targeted to the patients with the highest likelihood of success. Association for the Support People with Disabilities-Orphans-poor patient An Giang province recipients with more details in our facebook photo album:

2016 RS4K-Vietnam Cancer Therapy


Jamaica Connects e-Learning For Kids & ClassmatePC Program (Jamaica, West Indies) *** ON-HOLD PROJECT ****

Partnering with The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield and, a global non-profit with nearly 200 free and fun educational games for kids ages 5-12, RS4K is helping raise funds for unfortunate children of Jamaica to lead them out of poverty with education & social development. This is a new 2010 RS4K project to furnish learning technology for the students in a rural school in Williamsfield Jamaica.

Click here to learn more on this RS4K project and how you can get involved with RS4K's Jamaica Connects Program: A collaborative project between classrooms in Jamaica, West Indies and Chicago, Illinois, area Schools.

ClassmatePC for Mcintosh Memorial School Jamaica

Khai Tri Orphanage Library & e-Learning For Kids, ClassmatePC Project (An Giang, Vietnam - Asia) *** ON-HOLD PROJECT ****

We partner with, a global non-profit with nearly 200 free and fun educational games for kids ages 5-12, to make sure we have high quality software for the computers we donate. One of our early projects was to help Khai Tri Orphanage located in the heart of Mekong Delta. After building a new library for the kids we found that the normal desktop computers quickly failed in the dusty, high humidity common in rural South Vietnam. After much research, we found the Intel-powered Classmate PC designed specifically for kids in developing countries is a better solution.

Click here to learn more on this RS4K project and read our project blog and how you can help school kids learning with computers in Vietnam.


Additional RS4K Project Photos:

You can view new pictures we took in Nov 2016 and posted on facebook by using the following URL:

You can view older RS4K pictures on our Flickr photo-sharing album slide-show below:

Bring Light to a Six-month old Blind Baby Girl (An Giang, Vietnam - Asia) *** CLOSED PROJECT ****

Unfortunately this baby passed and we continue to stay in contact with her Mother.

In November 2009, we took a baby girl to the clinic in Can Tho city where Dr. Liem and Dr. Tho work closely with Medical Aid For Vietnam. This was a second medical opinion after another doctor recommended radiation & removal of eye balls. During this second opinion we obtained ultrasounds of both eyes.

Click here to learn more on this RS4K project and read opinions from several Medical Aid for Vietnam Doctors and current updates.

Click here to contact us with suggestions for helping.

Prenatal Vitamin Project (Rural SE Asia) *** CLOSED PROJECT ****

In April 2009, we test small trial where we brought prenatal vitamins for ten pregnant women 8-month supply. We partnered with a rural doctor who also runs a nursing school in Long Xuyen city to increase the odds of Mothers having healthier babies. The only requirement we had was to log who received the prenatal vitamins.

Click here to learn more on this RS4K project and read who received our donated vitamins.

Prenatal vitamins produces healthy babies

50 Laptops: Netbooks for Kids in Children's Hospital (Global / Pilot was in Chicago, IL USA) *** CLOSED PROJECT ****

A partnership opportunity to provide Intel-powered Classmate PCs, rugged small battery-powered netbook computers, installed with free and fun educational software to pediatric patients ages 5 – 12 years old.

This is a great way for us to continue to help kids learn when they have less access to teachers and schools.

Click here to learn more on this RS4K project if you have a children's hospital in your community and want us to share with you more details on best netbooks to buy and instructions for obtaining and installing free learning programs.

Donate now and give netbooks for Kids in Children's Hospitals.

Fifth annual “Kids Against Hunger” community wide food packing event (21-MAR-2015) *** CLOSED PROJECT ****

Help us pack 100,000 meals for hungry children in Nicaragua, March 22nd at the Winnetka Community House. Donate today to help; $100 provides a nutritious meal to over 350 children.


Donations may be made via PayPal directly to Winnetka Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity, by clicking here.

iPads for Parents @ Ronald McDonald Houses (Chicago, IL USA - North America) *** CLOSED PROJECT ****

A partnership opportunity to provide a pre-configured iPad with WebMD and other internet resources for the parents staying at the RMH while their kids are being treated at the children's hospital; parents tend to be eager to research using WebMD and other internet resources and iPads will likely be easier for them to use.

This is a great way for us to help build the world's largest RMH scheduled to open in 2012.

Click here to learn more on this RS4K project and how you can help us donate iPads for Parents staying @ RMH.

What to make a difference? Small contributions make big impacts.

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