LONG BEACH - Growing up, Parry Havelaar was surrounded by the kindness of others.

His mother took care of her sisters after they became orphans. His father, a prisoner of war, worked to bring his wife and three small children to America.

"That was his dream and he gave us the opportunity to come to the United States," said Havelaar, a 53-year-old Boeing Co. employee based out of Long Beach.

His family made the long trek from Jakarta to Holland to America by boat in 1960.

Strangers also helped. A family, which Havelaar still knows today, sponsored their arrival into the United States. Doctors donated medicine to the family, said Havelaar, who was born with a heart defect.

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Parry Havelaar, a 23-year employee at Boeing, spends much of his free time volunteering for kids with disabilities.
Parry Havelaar, a 23-year employee at Boeing, spends much of his free time volunteering for kids with disabilities. (Brittany Murray / Staff Photographer)