Sunday, May 09

Amidst hardship, a donor sows kindness

March 27, 2018 | Grace Limbher Daigdigan

The amount of money does not justify a donor’s worth. As long as it is done out of sincerity, it is more than enough to help the less fortunate. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi donors and volunteers of Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City on March 24 learn what it means to help others through the blessings they share every day. One particular donor’s story even involves not missing a day to help even as herself struggles.


In 1966, a pool of blood changed Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s life forever. After learning that the blood belonged to a pregnant woman who was turned away by the hospital for being unable to pay, she opened her mind to the cruel reality of society.

Learning the sad truth culminated in the bamboo bank movement, with her 30 housewives as disciples sparing 50 NT cents every day. The cumulative display of love was meant to be used for the benefit of those people who can’t afford treatments. From this bamboo bank, the Buddhist organization of compassion and relief was born.

The inspirations behind this movement have since spread to other parts of the world. In the dense suburbs of Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City, the hundreds of Tzu Chi donors and volunteers have peen pooling their drops of kindness to a vast ocean. They’ve witnessed how Tzu Chi helped them get back on their feet following Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana).

At the Jing SI Hall in Quezon City on March 24, they learned more inspirational stories about the cultivation of goodness. One such story narrated the goodness of Ormoc’s Great Love community pooling their kindness for the benefit of earthquake victims in Hualien, Taiwan.

Touched by the stories shared, Tzu Chi donor Milagros Mendoza promised to double her effort in donating. A volunteer friend introduced her to Tzu Chi in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.

Sharing her blessings, however, hasn’t been easy. Milagros worked as a caregiver for eight years in Pakistan, where she also raised a family. But marital issues forced her to leave such a life behind. She returned to the Philippines with her savings, which dried up quickly at the hands of countless swindlers.

Now, he lives under a tarpaulin roof but the situation does not deter her from helping the less fortunate.

“Despite the trials I’m facing, I am grateful to have two pets that I consider my family. And there are still people who show compassion to me,” shares Milagros in tears.

“It is true that once you show compassion to others, it will circle back,” she adds.

She makes a living offering door-to-door blood pressure checks, pegged at Php5.00. At times, good-willed people give her Php10 instead. Additional sources of income include selling salted eggs for Php12 and cleaning the roof of her neighbor for Php100.

Milagros makes an effort to donate Php30 a month to Tzu Chi. Such an amount could help with her plethora of expenses, but she believes other people need it more.

“It is better to give than to receive. I don’t have any second thoughts when it comes to helping others because that’s the least I can do,” she shares.

At the end of the program, Milagros and her fellow donors—around 1,500—were given a 20-kilo sack of rice each as a token of Tzu Chi’s gratitude.

With the abundant grains, she plans to share some with her neighbors to thank them for the kindness they’ve shown to her. Her savings from buying rice would be allocated as donation to Tzu Chi.

“I consider helping as a responsibility, that’s why I obliged myself to always have a portion for Tzu Chi from my total earnings. Besides, the experience I gain in helping others is incomparable,” she ends.


Be as compassionate as Milagros. Help Tzu Chi help others! Visit for more information.

  • Tzu Chi volunteers and Barangay Tatalon donors pray for peace of mind, a harmonious society and a disaster-free world. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Tzu Chi Philippines deputy-CEO Alfredo Li tells donors how Tzu Chi volunteers of Ormoc Great Love Village pooled their efforts to build a bridge so that the children in the community no longer have to cross a creek to go to school. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • A Tzu Chi volunteer shares a story from Buddha which motivates the attendees to donate regardless of how big of small amount is. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Each of the donors receives a 20-kilo sack of rice as Tzu Chi’s token of gratitude for their continuous support. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Milagros Mendoza has a heart for animals, like her pet, Maymay. Though she has no immediate family in Metro Manila, she is grateful to have a loyal dog to live with. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • In her free time, Milagros knits blouses, scarves, and hats to add to her collection. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • Despite the dangers, Milagros sweeps piles of leaves off the roof of her neighbor. In return, she’s paid Php100. 【Photo by Rodel Ruiz】

  • For a living, Milagros goes around the neighborhood offering to measure blood pressure. She also gives tips on maintaining a normal blood pressure. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】