By EllieAna Hale
The Chua Quan Am Templelocated on Lexington Avenue in Pendleton Heights, has completed long-awaited interior renovations and is currently working on expanding the temple’s exterior beautification, including the construction of a parking lot and perimeter fence.
The Vietnamese Buddhist temple has been part of the northeast district since the temple was first built in 2015.
“It has been a year now since we rehabilitated the building and we have been working to rebuild the exterior,” said Reverend Thay, translated by temple member Tri Le.
Rev. Thay, also known as “Master” by temple members, encourages members of the Northeast community to come to the temple and experience Vietnamese and Buddhist culture and meditate with them.
The temple continually strives to bring the community together and invite visitors to experience new renovations within the temple itself.
“We built the temple to support the spirituality of the Vietnamese community here,” Thay said. “We try to show Vietnamese and Asian culture, and lately there are a lot of college and university students coming to visit us. They saw us in the media and they came to look around and learn about our culture. We try to make the building as pleasant as possible and to finish the exterior.
Chùa Quan Âm finds pride and joy in being part of the Northeast community and has always felt welcome throughout the neighborhood.
“Since we’ve been here, everyone in the neighborhood has helped us,” Thay said. “They are very happy that we are here. Nobody hated us, and that’s very, very important.
During the pandemic, through community fundraising, the temple was able to raise enough funds to complete the interior and is now looking to implement the same fundraising plan to cultivate the success of the exterior renovations.
“The contractors told us we needed $100,000, so we’re still working on fundraising,” Le said.
Chùa Quan Âm recently participated in KC Art Garden and sold vegetarian food and treats to start raising money for the renovations. Additionally, the temple is seeking donations and other fundraising opportunities that it can use to raise funds for renovations.
Apart from donations, the temple also accepts volunteers to help with the physical process of planting plants and beautifying the temple.
The temple invites all members of the community to stop and view the temple and possibly join Chùa Quan Âm for a service.
“We are open to anyone who wants to come in,” Le said. “We have a service every Sunday from 9am to 11pm”