Tzu Chi donors and volunteers of Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City on March 24 learn what it means to help others through the blessings they share every day. One particular donor’s story even involves not missing a day to help even as herself struggles.
In 1966, a pool of blood changed Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s life forever. After learning that the blood belonged to a pregnant woman who was turned away by the hospital for being unable to pay, she opened her mind to the cruel reality of society.
Learning the sad truth culminated in the bamboo bank movement, with her 30 housewives as disciples sparing 50 NT cents every day. The cumulative display of love was meant to be used for the benefit of those people who can’t afford treatments. From this bamboo bank, the Buddhist organization of compassion and relief was born.
The inspirations behind this movement have since spread to other parts of the world. In the dense suburbs of Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City, the hundreds of Tzu Chi donors and volunteers have peen pooling their drops of kindness to a vast ocean. They’ve witnessed how Tzu Chi helped them get back on their feet following Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana).
At the Jing SI Hall in Quezon City on March 24, they learned more inspirational stories about the cultivation of goodness. One such story narrated the goodness of Ormoc’s Great Love community pooling their kindness for the benefit of earthquake victims in Hualien, Taiwan.
Touched by the stories shared, Tzu Chi donor Milagros Mendoza promised to double her effort in donating. A volunteer friend introduced her to Tzu Chi in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.
Sharing her blessings, however, hasn’t been easy. Milagros worked as a caregiver for eight years in Pakistan, where she also raised a family. But marital issues forced her to leave such a life behind. She returned to the Philippines with her savings, which dried up quickly at the hands of countless swindlers.
Now, he lives under a tarpaulin roof but the situation does not deter her from helping the less fortunate.
“Despite the trials I’m facing, I am grateful to have two pets that I consider my family. And there are still people who show compassion to me,” shares Milagros in tears.
“It is true that once you show compassion to others, it will circle back,” she adds.
She makes a living offering door-to-door blood pressure checks, pegged at Php5.00. At times, good-willed people give her Php10 instead. Additional sources of income include selling salted eggs for Php12 and cleaning the roof of her neighbor for Php100.
Milagros makes an effort to donate Php30 a month to Tzu Chi. Such an amount could help with her plethora of expenses, but she believes other people need it more.
“It is better to give than to receive. I don’t have any second thoughts when it comes to helping others because that’s the least I can do,” she shares.
At the end of the program, Milagros and her fellow donors—around 1,500—were given a 20-kilo sack of rice each as a token of Tzu Chi’s gratitude.
With the abundant grains, she plans to share some with her neighbors to thank them for the kindness they’ve shown to her. Her savings from buying rice would be allocated as donation to Tzu Chi.
“I consider helping as a responsibility, that’s why I obliged myself to always have a portion for Tzu Chi from my total earnings. Besides, the experience I gain in helping others is incomparable,” she ends.
Be as compassionate as Milagros. Help Tzu Chi help others! Visit http://tzuchi.org.ph/#donate-modal for more information.