Concern for the well-being of other people is a characteristic not all people possess. It requires an effort to build a connection with anyone who has the same goal of making this world better.
Not everyone is aware of Tzu Chi Foundation’s mission of alleviating the suffering of people from different parts of the country, if not the world. Only those who have already experienced its help are aware of its efforts to lessen the burden in their hearts.
For that, Tzu Chi volunteers engage in information drives no matter the activity.
On September 9, Tzu Chi spread the word of vegetarianism to the employees of Mitsukoshi Motors Philippines, Inc. (MMPI), a distributor of imported motorcycles in Quezon City. They brought a total of 250 packed lunches for employees to enjoy a complete vegetarian meal.
MMPI’s owner Ngan Cheung Wai and his cousin Sunshine Wang paved the way for Tzu Chi volunteers to promote the foundation’s advocacies, one of which is vegetarianism. This is a first for the company.
“This is an opportunity to let my employees knows about what Tzu Chi is doing and also let them feel from the heart where the contribution go,” says Ngan.
The employees are shocked upon realizing that the meat-like dishes are made from pure vegetables and non-meat substitutes.
“The food is good. Though we were already oriented that we are going to eat vegetarian meal, I was still shocked and in awe because it looks like meat. But when I tasted it I was amazed because it’s healthy and easy to eat. I am happy that I get the chance to eat a lunch from Tzu Chi,” says Kharla Mendoza, audit officer-in-charge.
Volunteers are happy because employees get the chance to eat a meal without killing an animal and harming the environment.
Tzu Chi volunteer Olga Vendivel talked about the importance of helping one another despite differences. She shares that 99 percent of the foundation’s beneficiaries are Filipino and non-Buddhists. Taking a page from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 21:1-4, “The Widow’s Offering”), she narrates how a poor woman gave the only money she has for the sake of people who are more in need.
Vendivel adds that giving should come from the heart and that there is no small or big amount as long as it comes from the heart.
“Actually it’s the first time that I get to know more information about Tzu Chi. All I knew is they help those people near in this building who were struck by fire. Now I see the big part of Tzu Chi and they already helped many people not only here in Metro Manila, I saw their help to Ondoy and Yolanda (Haiyan) victims and it feels nice that a foundation like this helps people,” says Angelica Del Rosario, a training coordinator.
The experience has lit up the fire of love and service for people in need in the employees’ hearts.
“Because I’m pregnant, when I’m trying the vegetarian food I found it’s very healthy and this is a good chance for me to know about the Tzu Chi Foundation. The vegetarian food, I think, this is a first time for them to eat,” says Wang.
Two MMPI employees unload the food packs. Tzu Chi volunteers in the Jing Si Hall’s kitchen prepared a total of 250 vegetarian packed lunches for the employees. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
These packed lunches consist of vegetarian kaldereta (beef stew) and other side dishes. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
A volunteer bows as she happily hands a packed lunch to an employee. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Employees enjoy their vegetarian meals. It is the first time that Tzu Chi Foundation visited their company. Most are surprised upon tasting the dishes because, according to them, they do not taste like vegetables at all. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Kharla Mendoza, audit officer-in-charge, enjoys her meal. She personally prefers eating vegetable dishes than meat because she believes that it would make her body healthier and stronger. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
After eating, employees wash their food containers. They also made sure to finish their food since the foundation also promotes zero food waste. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi volunteers dance in the tune of Nice to Know You as an intermission number at the opening of the short program. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi volunteer Olga Vendivel is one of the speakers in the program. She shares a passage from the Bible where an impoverished woman gives the only money she has for the sake of those in need. She enlightens the employees that sincerity in giving knows no amount as long as it comes from the heart. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Employees intently watch a video about the history of Tzu Chi Foundation and its relief operations all over the country and even worldwide. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Each employee receives a coin bank where they can put their donations for the foundation. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】