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A Black couple helped a Chinese American family when no one would. 80 years later, they're paying it forward

The Dongs are selling their home and have pledged to donate the proceeds to the Black community who came to the rescue all those years back.

A Black couple helped a Chinese American family when no one would. 80 years later, they're paying it forward
Cover Image Source - NBC News

In an inspiring tale of kindness and generosity, the Dong family in Coronado, California has decided to donate 5 million dollars to Black college students from the proceeds of the sale of their house, reported NBC News. The emotional backstory to this incredible donation involves two families the DOngs and the Thompsons. It all started in 1939 when the Dong family in Coronado found themselves having a hard time finding a house. The Chinese American family was denied the opportunity to rent a home due to racially restrictive housing laws skewed to work in favor of white buyers and renters. Even amidst this gloomy housing situation, it was the generosity of Emma and Gus Thompson, that made sure that the Dongs did not miss out on finding a place to live. In a society that was prejudiced against immigrants and colored people, Emma and Gus Thompson were the knight in shining armor for the Dong family as they not only have them housing but a fresh start to build a better life.



Now, as time progressed, the bond between the two families grew stronger. The Dongs prospered in life and eventually purchased the Coronado property from the Thompsons. This purchase from the Dongs marked an important historic moment as they became the first Chinese American family to own real estate property in Coronado. Their growth and success will largely be owed to the Thompsons.


To repay the kindness they once received from the Thompsons, the Dongs decided to sell their Coronado property and pledged to donate 5 million dollars to the Black community through a scholarship fund—a move that will likely help many children prosper in life. One good deed makes way for another!

Just when you thought the Dongs were only pledging monetary support, it turns out that the family has another special gift for the Thompsons. As a form of tribute, the American Chinese family has put in efforts to rename San Diego State University's Black Resource Center after Emma and Gus to honor their legacy. Ron Dong and Janice Dong, both 86, have talked about the importance of giving back to the Black community and stated that their decision to donate the large sum was a natural choice.


This touching story of the Dongs and Thompsons shows us how humans can break superficial barriers to help one another. The bond and understanding between both families convey a strong message of how unity can be found even in the margins of society. Coronado historian Kevin Ashley has beautifully summed up the tale of both families and talked about how the Dongs have defined the true meaning of reparation, as he said, "They are saying, ‘Look at all you guys fighting about reparations. We’re giving this all back to the Black community."

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