By Randall Jobe
It will take more than a devastating fire that destroyed the home he shares with Gary Giddings to keep Carl Han from the cause that has been dear to his and Giddings’s heart for over a decade. Even though he lost one, possible two, of his beloved cats, and all clothing and possessions to fire, smoke or water damage. He also lost the DJ equipment that he used at charitable events, often spinning the music himself.
Han was less concerned about himself than being able to present his annual Love Party, an event has grown annually since 2005. The Love Party was officially designated as a fundraiser for HATCH Youth in 2007, and has been raising money for HATCH since then.
Han initially told people who immediately offered assistance that he needed nothing for himself. But after seeing the outpouring from so many wanting to help raise money for him as he had for so many in the past, Han relented. Now, when he speaks of people’s kindness, his eyes fill with tears; he realizes difficulties on the insurance front have made it impossible to replace the bare necessities without the donated monies. His initial crucial needs include professional clothing to continue in his interpreting business, as well as items as mundane as shaving equipment and underwear.
Ironically, the fire stemmed from a good deed. After the death of his Mother, January 15, family tradition required that he spend seven Sundays afternoon in a Buddhist temple for special ceremonies.
Han had decided to prepare a vegan Vietnamese delicacy for a Buddhist monk at the temple and accidentally forgot to turn off the stove. Once the fire was discovered, it was spreading rapidly. Han’s first concern was to awaken a neighbor and get her and her five dogs out safely.
“I was able to grab one computer,” Han says, who escaped wearing “no shoes and the clothes on my back.”
“You can’t wallow in your misery,” Han says. “You still have to get up and get from point A to point B.”
The Love Party is a classic example of his determination.
Han has secured the date and location for this year’s event, as well as the entertainment that includes a long list of drag and live-music performers, and belly dancers. The event will also include food — some prepared Han himself (always one of the party’s highlights) and some donated dishes.
As always, all monies raised at Carl Han’s Love Party go to HATCH Youth to support the group’s annual alternative prom in June.
Even though Han is not sure how much longer he can helm the party, he is confident that it will continue and always carry the title, Carl Han’s Love Party. It’s a legacy he’s built from a passion to assist others and to create a memorable experience for as many people as he can.
Many of those people Han has helped over the years now have the opportunity to pay-it-forward to a humble, generous gentleman whose dogged perseverance is a testament to the old adage, “The show must go on.”
All you need is love.