Eat a bowl of pho and help a local nonprofit. That'll be the plan on June 24, when Happy Panda, a new Asian restaurant in Plano, hosts a fundraising event to benefit a nonprofit organization called Source of Hope.
Source of Hope was founded by Quynh Chau Stone, a 42-year-old immigrant from Vietnam and businesswoman who is driven to do good works.
A licensed aesthetician, she initially founded Source of Hope to help low-income cosmetology students with grants and practical advice. The organization has a new training facility in a space donated by Legacy Bank of Texas, with classes on health and beauty topics for cosmetology professionals and the general public. The first class was held on June 11.
Her family supports her endeavors, with financial assistance from her husband, and volunteer hours from her 22-year-old daughter, Nicole.
Nicole describes Source of Hope as a nonprofit that creates educational programs for people who want to pursue their career in cosmetology. In addition, they have two social outreach programs, in partnership with the Cornerstone Baptist Church. They're one of the groups you see feeding the homeless in downtown Dallas, and they also went down to Houston to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
"My mom likes to take care of people," Nicole says. "When she started the program, she was working with high school students and she saw the need for them to have more than a high school diploma. As a licensed aesthetician, she knew that there were better, higher paying jobs in the beauty industry."
Stone, nicknamed "QC," is also a media figure in the local Vietnamese community thanks to her television and radio show, The Quynh Chau Show, where she shares tips and resources.
Inspired by QC's efforts, Happy Panda owner Joy Leung created "Pho For Hope," the fundraiser, as a way to bring the community together to get to know what Source of Hope does. It takes place on Sunday, June 24 from 4-9 pm at the restaurant, at 1116 Parker Rd. #300, Plano.
Leung herself has a following in the vegan community, who loved her previous restaurant Veggie Garden.
"QC's story is so compelling," Leung says. "She came from nothing to be a success. Now she has the ability to give back to the community, so she does."