Asian Family Donates $5 Million to Repay Kindness They Received Decades Ago

Chinese American family donates $5 million to repay kindness shown to them by a Black family.

repay kindness
Lloyd Dong Jr. (left) with his brother Ron outside their home in Coronado via San Diego State University

A Chinese American family from Coronado, California, wishes to show more kindness in return for the generosity they were shown decades ago.

Due to the racist housing rules in place at the time, the Dong family was unable to rent any property when they relocated to Coronado in 1939.

At that point, a Black business couple from the city named Emma and Gus Thompson showed them courtesy by lending the family a rental home, which they eventually bought.

SIMILAR: Read about the incredible $1 billion donation received by Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NYC.

The Dong family is now preparing to provide $5 million to Black college students nationwide as a way of returning this compassion. The funds are from the sale of the same Coronado house that they were able to purchase with the Thompson family’s assistance.

As told to NBC News by Lloyd Dong Jr., the Thompsons were the sole reason they could “have the education and everything else.” After living a prosperous life, they now want to donate some money to the Black community.

The donation may “enable some kids to go and flourish in college that might not have been able to otherwise,” according to Janice Dong, 86.

Ron Dong, her 86-year-old husband, concurs that it is only “appropriate.” As the Thompsons aided the Dong family in obtaining their opportunity in California, they are really attempting to have the Black Resource Center at San Diego State University named in their honor.

In the 1800s, Gus Thompson left Kentucky to work at the Hotel Del Coronado in California. Before the city’s racial housing rules were put in place, he constructed a home and barn near C Avenue in 1895, Coronado historian Kevin Ashley told NBC.

He ultimately gave minorities and immigrants permission to reside in a boarding house on the upper level of the barn when the regulations were altered.

After working as a farmer in the Central Valley, brothers Lloyd Jr. and Ron Dong told NBC News that their father, Lloyd Dong Sr., had relocated to Coronado to become a gardener.

repay kindness
Stock picture of San Diego State University

Due to the few options of lodging available in the city back then, they finally found themselves at Gus Thompson’s boarding house.

Ashley told NBC that the Dong family became the first Chinese Americans to buy property in the area when Emma Thompson sold them the Coronado house and barn in 1955.

Eventually, the family relocated out of the city to various parts of California and converted the barn into an apartment complex.

After decades of overseeing the properties from a distance, they decided it was time to sell because they were getting tougher and harder to maintain.
About the choice to sell, Janice remarked, “It’s time,” as they wish to give back.

Maya Bennett