Immigrant Restaurant Owner Gives Back-Add Hero Tag

I know, Neal Boortz hates the phrase “giving back,” but, I reckon’ this is truly giving back

The United States welcomed John Pham in 1979 when he was a child and had moved from Vietnam to make a new life. Now Pham, owner of Ninh Kieu restaurant in Swatara Township, wants to return the favor.

“This country has been good to me,” said Pham, 40. “Now the economy here is bad. Unemployment is up. I want to give something back to my country and community.” That something is a bowl of Vietnamese soup, offered for one penny to those who have lost their job in the current economy. The beef noodle, shrimp or chicken pho (Vietnamese name for soup) is served to the unemployed all day Wednesday and from 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday.

Pham said he doesn’t require proof of a lost job because, “I trust people.”

Pham, who became an American citizen in 1985, knows what it means to be down on luck. After moving to the United States from Vietnam, he spent two years learning English. He eventually headed to Virginia Technical Institute, where he became an electrical engineer.

That’s what it means to be a part of our great Melting Pot.

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