Home Missions Humanity Humanity News Tzu Chi Philippines sends love to Texas flood victims

Tzu Chi Philippines sends love to Texas flood victims

Saturday, 02 September 2017 17:5 PM | ARTICLE BY | Chloe Dela Cruz
Manila Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao shares the humble beginnings of the foundation with nearly 60 local volunteers as part of their training on September 3, 2017. 【Photo by Caroline Uy】

Story Highlights

  • The Tzu Chi “Market Market” at the Great Love City on September 3 saw its earnings of over Php50,000 go to the affected families of Hurricane Harvey in the southern United States.
  • The gesture of goodness is a way to give back to a community that helped Leyte rise up from the rubble left by Typhoon Yolanda four years ago.

The toll from Hurricane Harvey continues to rise several days in its aftermath. As the Midwest continues to suffer from its effects, the death toll has risen to 45 as of this writing. Large swathes of Houston and several towns and cities remain inundated under toxic floodwater. Recovery efforts may cost the state and national governments upwards of $180 billion (Php9.2 quadrillion).

As tropical cyclones are no strangers to them, Filipinos can relate on the struggles thousands of Texans are going through right now. The Filipinos know to the difficulty of starting from scratch, the sight of houses and belongings getting swept away by the flood, and the heartbreaking reality of losing loved ones.

In light of the disaster, Filipino Tzu Chi volunteers thought of their own simple way of raising funds. Volunteers at the Tzu Chi Great Love City on September 3 held a Tzu Chi “Market Market,” a weekly bazaar for just about anything under the sun.

Earnings from the bazaar amounted to Php50,721 for the benefit of the Hurricane Harvey victims. While an insignificant amount compared to the estimated damage, the event manages to convince people to pool their goodness for a cause.

“[Dharma Master Cheng Yen] opened up the idea that this is the moment that we have to gather everyone’s collective goodness, mentioned in the lotus sutra, to bring up the goodness of everyone to come in together to pitch in for the greater good,” says Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao.

He mentions that the gesture of goodness is also a way to give back to one of the countries that helped Leyte rebound from Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) four years ago. The United States has been one of the largest contributors of aid in the typhoon’s aftermath.

“We hope that we can payback the kindness they‘ve shown us during those moments. And we know that many of our Filipino volunteers have been very much aware and they themselves express that kindness that hopefully they can do something for the needy back there in Houston,” adds Siao.

Maritess Jujuer, a frequent patron, takes comfort in knowing that the money she spends in the bazaar will find its way to ease suffering in parts of the world.

“Aside from the cheap price of the things here, one of the main reasons why I am so happy is because I know that the money I spent to buy these stuffs will be used to help other people who are also in need,” says Jujuer.

For Emma Bajo, shopping at the bazaar is her way of showing gratitude to the Buddhist organization and support of its advocacy. Her mother benefitted from a cataract surgery shouldered by Tzu Chi years ago.

“When we found out that the sales will go to the casualties of [Hurricane Harvey], we immediately go here so that we can also help them. This is also my way of giving back to Tzu Chi Foundation,” says Bajo.

Some volunteers, despite leading frugal lives, still manage to spare some change for the coin bank and a prayer for the victims’ safety..

“It doesn’t matter how small the amount you give. What is important is that it comes from your heart,” says Tzu Chi Ormoc Youth member Christian Ronquillo.

Last Updated: Saturday, 02 September 2017 17:5 PM

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