By EllieAna Hale
The Chùa Quan Âm Temple, located on Lexington Avenue in Pendleton Heights, has completed long awaited interior renovations and is now working to expand the exterior beautification of the temple, including construction of a parking lot and a perimeter fence.
The Vietnamese Buddhist temple has been a part of the Northeast neighborhood since before the temple was first constructed in 2015.
“It has now been a year since we refinished the building and we have been working to rebuild the outside,” said Revered Thay, translated by temple member Tri Le.
Reverend Thay, also known as “Master” by temple members, encourages members of the Northeast community to come to the temple and learn about the Vietnamese and Buddhist culture and meditate with them.
The temple continually strives to bring the community together and invite visitors to experience the new renovations within the temple itself.
“We built the temple to support the spirituality of the Vietnamese community around here,” Thay said. “We try to show the Vietnamese and Asian culture, and lately there are a lot of students from colleges and universities coming to visit us. They saw us in the media and they came in to look around and learn about our culture. We try to make the building as nice as possible and finish the outside.”
Chùa Quan Âm finds pride and joy in being within the Northeast community and has continually felt welcome within the neighborhood as a whole.
“Since we have been here, everyone in the neighborhood helped us,” Thay said. “They are very happy that we are here. Nobody disliked us, and that is very very big.”
During the pandemic, through community fundraising, the temple was able to raise enough funds to complete the interior and is now seeking to implement the same fundraising plan to cultivate success for outdoor renovations.
“The contractors told us that we need $100,000, so we are still working on fundraising,” Le said.
Recently Chùa Quan Âm participated in Art Garden KC and sold vegetarian food and treats to begin fundraising for the renovations. Additionally, the temple is seeking donations and other fundraising opportunities that they can utilize to raise the funds needed for renovations.
Outside of donations, the temple is also accepting volunteers to help with the physical process of planting plants and the beautification of the temple.
The temple invites all community members to stop by and view the temple and possibly join Chùa Quan Âm for a service.
“We are open to anybody that would like to come in,” Le said. “We have a service every Sunday from 9 a.m. in the morning to 11 p.m.”