Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tzu Chi Foundation

Been wanting to blog about Tzu Chi Foundation since the first time I encountered them during the funeral of Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda.

Founded in 1966 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in the impoverished east coast of Taiwan, the Tzu Chi Foundation has been contributing to better social and community services, medical care, education and humanitarian efforts all over the world. My Taiwanese friend Mark used to tell me how their volunteers would be the first one to arrive to help flood victims in Taiwan even faster than any other relief agencies.

Their Malaysian chapter, Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society helps everyone regardless of race, religion and all the labels we used to separate or differentiate ourselves. They provided assistance and relief to the Johor flood victims during and after the flood. Their Dialysis Centers provided not only medical assistance to the needy but also help uplift their lives by encouraging them help collect, sort and sell recyclable materials to provide operating funds for the three centers. Serving a worthy cause brightened the lives of these volunteers who are also patients.

What impressed me most is the manner which Tzu Chi Merits Society volunteers help people. During the Sichuan earthquake in China, they came to Low Yat Plaza to collect funds to help the earthquake victims. They stationed two persons teams in the main entrance and near all the escalators. Then they smile and bow down graciously to everyone who pass by with the hope of getting a donation from them. I inserted some money into the donation box and went upstairs to see my dealers. About half an hour later, I came back downstairs, and saw them still smiling and bowing their head down continuously. It's amazing, such gracious respect and honour given to everyone who walks by regardless whether the person donates or not. I gave again and felt moved and inspired by such gestures of humility and sincerity.

My deepest admiration and salute goes to Tzu Chi Foundation as an organisation that demonstrate compassionate wisdom with affirmative actions.

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