The Purpose Project: Thao's Library
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WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Elizabeth is coping with a life-altering tragedy that has left her feeling hopeless, until one day she comes upon a photograph of Thao, a 25 year old Vietnamese woman born with life-threatening birth defects as a result of Agent Orange. Thao appears to have almost no legs and is sitting in her wheelchair outside of her family's storage structure which houses pig feed, fertilizer and books. Despite her crippling physical deformities, Thao has created a library for the children of her village from found and donated materials. When the photographer who captured the image of Thao asks her, "If you could have anything in the world what would it be?", Thao replies, "Three hundred dollars, so I can buy more books for the library." Elizabeth is haunted by the photograph along with Thao's simple request and commits to fulfilling her humble wish. Armed with a suitcase filled with books exceeding Thao's three hundred dollar request and searching for a way to reach Thao, with no phone number, email, or address, Elizabeth and Thao soon find themselves face to face in Trung Lap Thuong Commune, outside of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Elizabeth discovers a village where children who are first generation readers rush to explore the written word at Thao's small library. There, too, is Thao's family whose love outshines the poverty surrounding them. Through Thao's simple request, these two unlikely friends have been brought together, forging a bond that eventually will change both of their lives forever.
38 Commerce St
New York, NY 10014
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