Thursday, Apr 15

Collective effort for Tzu Chi

February 08, 2019 | Charissa Tulinao

The beds were made of recycled hardwood from the louver windows of the buildings. 【Photo by Aleina Espineli】

Story Highlights

  • Through the renovations at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus, volunteers were able to recycle old woods and extend their usefulness.

  • Tzu Chi sought help from volunteers, and a Catholic organization, Focolare in order to finish 240 beds for the complex.


In line with the on-going renovation work in the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Sta. Mesa, volunteers were able to recycle materials from the old buildings of the Sisters of Mary Complex.

The renovated building will serve as dormitories for volunteers during gatherings and special events. These rooms would be equipped with closets and beds.

Tzu Chi Philippines CEO, Henry Yuñez discovered that the window frames are made of hardwood which are still in good condition. He decided to reuse the wood by making them into beds for the volunteers.

 “Right now, we don’t want to cut down more trees as much as possible. For these used lumbers, they are more precious than the newly-cut lumbers because they are more than 50 years old. They are dry and strong so it’s better than new lumbers,” said Yuñez.

He also expressed his gratitude to another volunteer, James Cheng for producing at least 40 beds. James explained that one of his hobbies include carpentry which is why he knew his way around the work.

“I’m very happy that I can help Tzu Chi with these work in Sta. Mesa. Naturally, this is a big project, everybody shares the duty,” said Cheng.

Although satisfied with the quality of the beds, Yuñez sought help from a Catholic organization - Focolare Movement - for faster production.

Similar to Tzu Chi, Focolare reaches out to financially disadvantaged communities and offer livelihood projects like carpentry to assist them in sustaining better lives.

Joselito Tragico of Focolare was impressed upon learning that Tzu Chi would be bringing their own wood for the beds. He was impressed by the act of reusing them and also for its quality.

“This is a great opportunity for us to collaborate with the Buddhist organization, Tzu Chi Foundation because I feel that we are working together for a common good, and that is to help other people and also to help humanity,” said Tragico.

Focolare produced 200 beds while volunteer James Cheng and some staff from Sta. Mesa made 40. All in all, 240 beds are set to be placed inside the rooms of the dormitory building.

Leftover wood was also used for the yoga room, as well as side tables.

  • Before varnishing the beds, workers polish the beds with sandpaper. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Volunteer James Cheng measures the wood to be used and cuts them accordingly. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Workers used protective gears for the finishing touches. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Staff and volunteers transfer the beds to the dormitories. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】

  • Some of the wood were utilized in the yoga room. 【Photo by Charissa Tulinao】


  • 20190225 Bed assembly at Focolare and Tzu Chi Great Love Campus, Santa Mesa

  • LAST UPDATED: April 11, 2019 11:04 AM