WESTMINSTER, Calif. — Vietnamese American business owners in Orange County are giving back to frontline health care workers and essential employees in honor of what the United States did for them when they moved to the U.S. as Vietnam War refugees. 

Weeks ago, business owners who were part of pioneering and growing the nail industry in Southern California came together to donate 120,000 masks and 300,000 gloves to health care workers as they continue to fight the coronavirus. 


“We donated hundreds of thousands of PPE to our health care workers and started the Nailing It For Health Care Workers Movement. Today, we’re going to start donating 1,975 meals that are going to essential workers and front-line health care workers all across Southern California. We’re also going to be donating 1,975 services, which includes manicure and pedicure services,” said Johnny Ngo, president of Whale Spa and Skyline Beauty Supply.

On Thursday, in front of the iconic Asian Garden Mall which is known as Phuoc Loc Tho to Vietnamese communities around the globe, Ngo and Tam Nguyen, the president of Advance Beauty School, held a press conference to announce their movement to remember the Fall of Saigon in 1975. 

“We call upon Vietnamese American communities throughout America to join us in a national day of giving next Thursday, on April 30th. Let us forever solemnly commemorate the Fall of Saigon, but also let us highlight the rise of all of us, Vietnamese Americans and the role we will play in the fight against COVID-19,” said Nguyen.

Both Nguyen and Ngo are second-generation owners of small family business started by their Vietnamese American refugee parents. 

The pair of friends are going to collaborate on providing manicures and pedicures for front-line employees with supplies and a $40,000 chair donated by Ngo’s businesses. The employees will be able to visit Nguyen’s beauty school to enjoy those perks.

“They are our heroes and they need special treatment,” said Ngo.

Motivated by the nail industry’s good deeds, about 20 Vietnamese American-owned restaurants also stepped up to the movement by providing free meals and deliveries to health care workers, grocery store employees, seniors and homeless people. 

The Vietnamese community raised support and money. Together, they raised $150,000 within a week for the cause.

To support Nailing It For Health Care Workers, please visit: unitedwayoc.org/get-involved/nailing-it-for-health-care-workers

To follow them on social media, please visit them on Twitter or Facebook.