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For almost 30 years, John Chhan and his wife, Stella, have been serving customers their fresh donuts. But for the past month, Stella's been absent.

The Chhans came to the U.S. as refugees from Cambodia in 1979. They opened a donut shop called Donut City in Seal Beach, and the duo has been doling out delicious daily donuts ever since.

But last month, Stella stopped showing up behind the counter. She'd suffered a brain aneurysm, and though she survived, she was very weak and slowly recovering in a rehab facility. That meant that John Chhan had run the shop alone and be away from his sick wife. When customers learned of the situation, they wanted to do something to help.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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