CHATHAM, NJ - It's a story Kayla Friedman has been pulling out of her mother, Christine, little by little.
"She was born in Vietnam and lost both her parents at a young age," Friedman said. "Since I was young, I always wanted to go back and give to people who were in the same position as my mom was."
The 16-year-old Chatham High student will be making that trip, beginning Dec. 18, when she visits Vietnam and works at an orphanage for two weeks. Her mother will be traveling with her to Saigon, Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City - and volunteering at an orphanage run by Buddhist Monks, called Mái Am Tình Thương Tâm Đức.
"I've always asked my mom, 'When can we go to Vietnam?', finally, this year she said we can go," Friedman said. "I'm really excited. I'm going to help, play with the kids, cook, clean, teach them English.
"I'm raising money to give back to the orphanage. The government there doesn't help them, so they need all the money they can get from anyone willing to donate."
The orphanage relies on donations to provide food, medical expenses, clothing, and most importantly, safety and shelter for the children.
Anyone wishing to donate to the Vietnam Orphanage Volunteer Project can click the link below. All money collected will be donated directly to the orphanage during Friedman's visit.