Long-term care beneficiaries donated to the victims of Tropical Depression Usman during the recently concluded Charity Day and Year-end Blessings ceremony held at Jing Si Hall.
Tzu Chi Foundation’s long-term care beneficiaries donate to the victims of Tropical Depression Usman during this year’s Charity Day and Year-end Blessings held at Jing Si Hall last 27th of January 2019.
The beneficiaries came early to the event with coin cans full of daily savings.
“It feels (good) to bring help to other people who are like us, in need of help.” said Tzu Chi’s beneficiary of five years, Estela de Pedro.
Estela and her husband participated as recycling volunteers to the foundation after Tropical Storm Ondoy (Typhoon Ketsana) devastated their home in 2009. In 2014, they also became rice beneficiaries, receiving 40 kilos of rice monthly that saves them money.
“The rice is a big help to us. I am very grateful to Master Cheng Yen.” she said.
Estela also reminded everyone to abide by the advisories coming from the authorities during disasters and calamities.
“Like us who got affected by Ondoy before, I pray that they would become more watchful next time.” said Estela.
Maria Christina Malate also expressed her sympathy to those affected by Tropical Depression Usman.
“I wish for them to have more strength and learn to seek God.” said Maria Christina.
Her son Marthin became a beneficiary of the foundation in 2017, when the three-year-old boy needed surgery for his congenital heart disease. Two years later, Marthin gradually recovered and has been living a normal childhood since then.
“He’s better now. He’s becoming so active and gaining weight... he no longer needs maintenance medicine too.”
Apart from her youngest child, her eldest son also receives assistance for his tertiary education.
These pushed Maria Christina to give back and become a donor of the foundation.
“I am really happy that a beneficiary like me can help others, like those who have been devastated (by Tropical Depression Usman). Even if the amount I donated is small, if those coins would be accumulated, it would help a lot of people.” she said.
The foundation conducted relief efforts benefitting families from the region of Bicol and Samar in the third week of January. Tzu Chi staff Chad Dizon said that the giving of donations aims to promote values and willingly reach out for the better good of one another.
“It is also an opportunity for them to give. Because we inspire them that even as beneficiaries, they have an opportunity to give.” he said.
During the event, staff and volunteers showed the condition of the people affected by Usman. They went around for donations; filling up several boxes with any amount of spare change from the beneficiaries.
“According to the volunteers, there are a lot of donations during the donation drive. The boxes were heavy and almost full, filled with heavy coins. It’s a little amount compared to what the foundation has given to the survivors, but it’s a big help because a lot of people donated. Here in Tzu Chi, we don’t look at the amount, we see instead their big hearts that want to help others.” said Dizon.
The event also served as a Year-end Blessing ceremony for the beneficiaries where they received traditional red envelopes from Dharma Master Cheng Yen with a reminder to always be compassionate and abide by the dharma.