Cultural event aims to help orphaned, abandoned children born with HIV

The vintage store Warehouse 1333, 1347 Redondo Ave., will host a night of traditional Cambodian Art to benefit New Hope For Cambodian Children, a residential facility that is home to orphaned and abandoned children born with HIV, on Saturday, April 5. In addition to a silent auction of photographs taken at New Hope, there will be a dance performance by students from the Khmer Arts Academy, traditional music by Cheeravath Aphipunyo, food from Crystal Thai & Cambodian Cuisine, and a sampling of beers by Long Beach-based Khmer brewery, Stone Temple Beer Company.
The event coalesced around Joe Love, a yoga instructor and gymnast who returned from New Hope For Cambodian Children (NHCC) with photos from his trip and inspiration.
“Last spring, I did a sensitivity training with the Heart Touch Project,” Love said. “They offer compassionate touch and healing to terminally ill men, women and children in the Los Angeles area. When I found out they had an outreach program to NHCC, I did not hesitate to go. I went with a group of massage therapists, nurses, physical therapists and holistic practitioners. The kids had an eagerness to learn. They were physically strong and, like all kids, just wanted to play, laugh, and be free. By the end of my two weeks at New Hope, I had nearly every child that came to class in a handstand, which really is the ultimate pose of balance, strength, and flying.”
NHCC was founded in 2006 by John and Kathy Tucker, an American couple who had previously founded the Little Sprouts program, which was the first to provide antiretroviral drug treatment and residential care to Cambodian children infected with HIV. NHCC provides care to 240 orphans and abandoned children at its residential facility and also provides social support to more than 1,400 infected children and their families living throughout the country, according to a press release issued on behalf of Warehouse 1333.
The fundraiser will include a silent auction of various donated items, and all food and beverage sales will go toward the effort, according to the press release. Also, all money raised from the sale of photos taken by the members of the Heart Touch Project will be donated to NHCC. Direct donations are also welcome.
Award-winning dancer Prumsoduntras Surya Ok is associate artistic director of Khmer Arts Academy. “We will be presenting our Khmer Arts Salon Series, a program of demonstration and performance designed to introduce diverse audiences to the art of Khmer classical dance,” Ok said. “It is a great opportunity for our students to contribute to their community. It will help them to understand what role they may play using art to elevate the lives of others.”
March Beagle, owner of Warehouse 1333, said she is thrilled that her space can serve as a community and cultural gathering place. “I’m glad that our store can help to bring our neighbors together in support of a great cause,” Beagle said. “Our goal is to raise $5,000 for NHCC, and have fun doing it.”
The event, sponsored in part by the The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, will begin at 5pm and end at 10pm.

Source: Warehouse 1333