Helping others is not limited to the rich people; they are not the only ones who can give. Those who are financially-deprived can also contribute something to their fellowmen because giving is not measured with the amount one can afford to share but with the sincerity that comes with it.
This is the lesson Tzu Chi volunteers wish to leave among the employees of Hi-Q Printing Press Company in Malabon City. Tzu Chi held a sharing session with the said employees on September 30, 2017. Stories of compassion and genuine help for complete strangers were shared during the program.
Tzu Chi volunteer, and Catholic, Olga Vendivel used a parable told by Jesus Christ to drive home an important point in giving. In the Book of Mark 12:41-44, wealthy people donated large sum of money from their riches. However, a widow could only give two centavos – the only money left in her pocket – to the needy. Jesus said that the woman is more blessed because she gave everything she has with the pure intention of helping others, unlike the wealthy people who only pulled out a small portion from their riches.
Vendivel also narrated how touched she was with her house helpers who pledged to donate Php500 every month to help the needy through Tzu Chi Foundation. She said this just shows that despite of their small income and their responsibilities with their families in the province, they still have the heart to think about others’ suffering.
By the program’s end, Vendivel shared that religious differences should not limit the scope of whom a person is going to help. It also should not ask for anything in return, and should empower each other to overcome life’s challenges.
According to Vendivel, although Tzu Chi is a Buddhist group that originated in Taiwan, almost 99% of the foundation’s beneficiaries are non-Buddhists and Filipinos. Tzu Chi’s founder Master Cheng Yen wants to spread the seeds of love to everyone’s hearts despite our differences.
Sixty employees of the printing press company attended the program. Hi-Q has been in the industry for over 50 years. It is owned by Andrea Ong, who is also a Tzu Chi volunteer.
Before the September 30 program, Hi-Q employees already knew Tzu Chi Foundation through Ong. They have a coin bank in their office, which they give to Tzu Chi once filled with donations.
Ong paved the way for the volunteers’ visit in her company, intending for her employees to gain deeper understanding of Tzu Chi and its programs.
A short video was also shown to further introduce the history and missions of Tzu Chi. The audience were touched seeing how the foundation is changing the lives of many poor and ailing Filipinos.
“So besides giving relief [aid] and helping them, they [Tzu Ci] also teach them [typhoon victims] skills so they will have livelihood and be stable in life,” says Jasmin Marquez, the company’s warehouse controller.
Ronnie Real agreed.
“I have learned more about Tzu Chi, that they not only help and give livelihood to people but also teach them unity especially those who are in need, like what is happening in Palo and Tacloban City, Leyte. Tzu Chi is always there to help when calamity and tragedy strike,” says Real, production supervisor of the company.
It was indeed a fruitful meeting for both the volunteers and employees as they shared stories of wholehearted giving that touched each other’s hearts.
The story of Maria Teresita Vecicaso, Ong’s housekeeper, was also discussed. She has been donating Php100 every month for Tzu Chi’s programs. Ong and the other employees are proud of her good deed. Despite her old age and the small amount that she earns, Vecicaso doesn’t forget to share her blessings to people whom she doesn’t even know.
“I am so glad that they [employees] are now informed that if they donate to Tzu Chi Foundation it would truly go to helping others,” says Ong.
The seminar is a reflection that every single person in this world, as long as he or she has the initiative to help, can change the lives of others. Compassion has no limitation if helping comes from the heart.
Employees get their snack before the program starts. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Hi-Q employees watch a short video about the history and missions of Tzu Chi. They are touched with how quick the foundation responds to victims whenever a disaster strikes. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Ronnie Real, production supervisor, shares that he feels glad because the relief aids from Tzu Chi also reach other parts of the country. He says that the foundation also helps to develop the personality of a person with its encouraging words. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
An employee says that the seminar paves the way for them to learn and understand the missions of Tzu Chi. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi volunteer Andrea Ong, who is also the owner of Hi-Q Printing Press Company, shares the story of an employee who donates Php100 every month to the foundation despite her small income. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Hi-Q employees are given Tzu Chi Publication newsletters so they can learn more about the programs Tzu Chi Foundation is carrying out in the Philippines and across the world. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】