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Woman’s act of generosity helps hundreds of Piedmont immigrants

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Linda Kersey said she never knew there was a large Montagnard population living in the Triad until she saw a story about them on FOX8.

But now, she has made a generous gift that is helping hundreds of them put food on the table.

Hundreds of Montagnards, who were American allies during the Vietnam War, had requested to lease land from Guilford County. County Commissioners denied their request. When Kersey saw the news on FOX8, she decided to let the Montagnards use a 9-acre plot of land she owns near her home in Guilford County.

"I believe very strongly that nothing should just lay and do nothing," Kersey said. "It comes to ruin if it does nothing. If it's worked and doing somebody some good, that's a wonderful thing."

Kersey, the wife of a retired Quaker minister, said her faith played a big role in her decision.

"We believe that we don't really own any property. It's loaned to us for a little while," she said. "And what we do with it is what's important. Not the property itself, but what we do with it. And sharing it is the ultimate."

Nine acres is enough for hundreds of families to use to grow crops and livestock to feed their families.

Yyung is one of the Montagnards who has already begun planting.

"We were very excited when we got this land," he said. "We're growing a little bit of vegetables, and we'll try to raise chickens, goats, whatever we can use."

In return for using the land, Kersey said the Montagnards are repairing a fence around the property and also renovating a house on the property, where one Montagnard family will live.

Although she gave a big gift to the Montagnards, Kersey said helping others has been truly rewarding for her.

"The Montagnards are so easy to love," Kersey said. "You meet them and you just fall in love with them. So I'm really thankful that they are using the property and that the property is being used."