Thursday, Apr 15

Long-Term Beneficiaries Pay Forward by Donating

December 16, 2018 | Katrina Mina

Long-term aid beneficiaries of Tzu Chi Foundation raise electronic candles during a heartfelt prayer in the recently concluded year-end Charity Day held at Jing Si Hall. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

Story Highlights

  • Beneficiaries of Tzu Chi Foundation showed their generosity by donating their coin cans during the year-end Charity Day held at Jing Si Hall last December 16, 2018.


Equipped with generous hearts, long-term aid beneficiaries of Tzu Chi Foundation celebrated Christmas by donating their coin cans during the year-end Charity Day held at Jing Si Hall last December 16, 2018.

Around 95 percent of the long-term aid beneficiaries attended the event, most of them donated recyclable pet bottles and lined up to pour the contents of their coin cans into a big clay pot.

Volunteer Jimmy Chua said that this feat shows how the beneficiaries are willing to share their blessings with other people who are in greater need.

“This shows that even though they are getting help from the foundation, they have the heart to think about helping other people as well. That’s why they save up their spare change every day.” he said.

Carlito Alba, a beneficiary, said that the coin can his family donated is their way of paying forward for the kindness they have been receiving.

“I donated the coins because Master and the foundation has helped me, I also want to help to others. To share.” he said.

Carlito have a condition called retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disease that ultimately renders a person blind. His father, Carlos Alba, also had the disease and was the first person in their family to become a beneficiary of the foundation. Carlito’s late sister also inherited the disease. Now, Alba fears for his eldest son who is showing early signs of the illness.

Still, Alba wanted to give hope to other beneficiaries. “[I want] to share with other people that are like me, I want them to have a chance in life like me. Before I felt hopeless, I felt like no one would help. But now I’m happy because I was given a chance by Tzu Chi, by Master Cheng Yen.” he said.

The proceeds of the event will go to another beneficiary, Clarence de Leon’s heart surgery. Clarence will need a hundred-thousand pesos to buy the device for his heart.

The event also served as the Christmas Party for all long-term aid beneficiaries. Adults were engaged in talks, free haircuts, parlor games, intermission numbers and a heartfelt prayer. Younger beneficiaries and children of beneficiaries had a separate Jing Si Time for Kids session as well. The beneficiaries also received their monthly aid along with rice, groceries and other gifts during the event.

Mary Joy Quilandrino, mother of three-year-old beneficiary Zhyrille Cruz said that her daughter had a lot of fun during the event.

“This is our first time to attend this event. Zhyrille was so happy seeing a lot of people and things.” she said.

Zhyrille has been a beneficiary of the foundation for three months. She suffered from lymphangioma and underwent the operation for its removal last October 22. The foundation helped her with the operation.

“Thank you very much for taking care of us during Zhyrille’s operation… now, Tzu Chi is still helping us. They always check if Zhyrille is doing well.” she said.

Alba also voiced his gratitude for the foundation. “I’m very happy. To Master Cheng Yen, I’m very thankful for the gifts this Christmas. My family and I have something for Christmas.”

Volunteer Tingting Pua expressed her happiness over the beneficiaries’ generosity in this year’s Christmas celebration. “It’s Christmas, we want everyone to be happy. Be it volunteers or beneficiaries, we are all together this event to be happy.”

  • Carlito Alba grows emotional as he talks about the genetic illness that plagued his family for generations. Carlito suffers from glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary disease that ultimately blinds a person. His father, also a beneficiary, as well as his late sister had the disease too. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Long-term aid beneficiaries pour the contents of their coin cans into a big clay pot. The beneficiaries saved up coins for months to donate. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Three-year-old Zhyrille and her mother Mary Joy are introduced to the audience. Zhyrille suffered from lymphangioma and was operated last October 22 with the help of the foundation. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Beneficiaries raise their coin cans during the year-end Charity Day last December 16, 2018. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Beneficiaries received aid such as cash, medicine, rice and other gifts. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • He may look well and healthy, but long-term aid beneficiary Clarence de Leon will undergo a heart surgery this December. The coins that his co-beneficiaries donated will fund the hundred-thousand-device he needs. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Children raise their hands as the speaker asks questions during the Jing Si Time for Kids Kiddie Class. Children of beneficiaries aged 12 and up were engaged in an intermediate class while 11 and below are in a kiddie class. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • An elderly couple graces the audience with love songs. Andres, the husband is a beneficiary. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Free haircuts were given to the beneficiaries during the event. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Filipino volunteers dance to a song promoting vegetarianism. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Beneficiaries scribble their answer on a piece of paper during a game of “pass the message” that tests cooperation of the team. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】