Tzu Chi scholars in Bohol on September 23 conducted simultaneous donation drives for the benefit of the earthquake victims in Mexico and the hurricane victims in the United States of America (USA).
Thirty-nine Tzu Chi scholars grouped into four to solicit donations in four different shopping malls in Tagbilaran City, Bohol namely the BQ Mall, Plaza Marcela, Alturas, and Island City Mall.
Scholars position themselves in strategic locations such as the malls’ entrances and exits. Bearing Tzu Chi’s newsletters and donation boxes, where pictures of the aftermath of the calamities in Texas and Florida in the USA, and Mexico were pasted, the scholars invited everyone to pool their love together to help the victims.
Gaining the people’s trust was difficult and this posed a challenge for the scholars in carrying out the solicitation drive. However, with sincerity nothing is impossible.
“At first, people ignored us but the willingness to help the victims gave us strength to press on and encourage the people to donate,” Tzu Chi scholar Rizalyn Malalis said.
Eventually, after patiently explaining the situation of the disaster victims to everyone they came across with, the scholars’ efforts caught the attention of the public. Touched by the young people’s big hearts, mallgoers and shoppers donated. Even motorcycle drivers pulled out little amounts to contribute.
A professor from the University of Bohol also dropped an amount in the donation box.
“I know how Tzu Chi helped victims of the calamities. Actually, we have students in our school who are Tzu Chi scholars and I know how Tzu Chi helps them pursue their dreams. That is why I donated,” she said.
Jade Claire Janiola, one of the Tzu Chi scholars, makes it a point to spend her free time from school in volunteering for Tzu Chi, whether it’s office works or outreach activities. Today, she joined the donation drive, hoping to send her own prayers and concern to the victims of the disasters in Mexico and the USA.
“I am glad that with my simple effort I was able to help. I might not be able to donate a big amount but I will pray that more people with good heart would send help to them for their fast recovery,” Jade Claire shared.
Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in Texas on August 25. It caused massive flooding in Houston and killed more than 75 people.
Over two weeks later, Hurricane Irma laid waste to the Caribbean Island before devastating Florida, USA. Sixty-nine people were killed in the aftermath.
Nine days after these calamities, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico. It claimed over 300 lives and caused extensive damages.
Since early September, Tzu Chi volunteers in the USA have been extending love and compassion to Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston, Texas. As of October 1, they have given almost $7 million in cash cards to over 12,000 families in the hardest-hit areas. Tzu Chi also distributed 6,213 eco-friendly blankets and 5,484 packages of Jing Si instant rice, as well as helped the victims clean up their homes.
As Tzu Chi USA volunteers assess the situation in quake-hit Mexico and hurricane-struck Florida, drafting their relief plan, a group of young people thousands of miles away are knocking on the hearts of their fellowmen to send support for the relief work. Tzu Chi Bohol scholars raised Php8,102.50 in donation for the disaster victims on the other side of the world.
Jade Claire Janiola (center) holds a Tzu Chi newsletter to introduce the foundation to a motorcycle driver – her way of encouraging to the latter to donate for the disaster victims in Mexico and the USA.【Photo by Leo Rey Juagpao】
At the end of the activity, scholars join in calculating the total amount they have raised for the earthquake and hurricane victims.【Photo by Juvy Ann Radaza】
The scholars’ donation drive for the survivors of the earthquake and hurricanes in Mexico and the USA gathered over Php8,000.【Photo by Juvy Ann Radaza】