In the heart of the San Gabriel Valley in California, is San Dimas, home to Tzu Chi USA’s National Headquarters and its Western Region Chapter. Our offices and facilities are located on a historic campus and grounds built by a renowned philanthropic family, who initially ran the Voorhis School for Boys here: The school provided housing and free education to orphaned and underprivileged boys, until it was closed and the campus was donated to California State Polytechnic University.
In taking over the property in May of 2004, we truly found a fitting location in that our humanitarian mission preserves the vision of the original owners, who wanted the site to go to an organization that would continue to use it for educational and charitable goals. Once our renovations were complete, the San Dimas community was overjoyed to see that the buildings were beautifully restored, with their architectural heritage intact. We moved in on October 2004, and since then, apart from being National Headquarters in the U.S., we are also a spiritual home for everyone in the Tzu Chi world.
The Charity, Education, and Humanistic Culture Departments are based in San Dimas, and Tzu Chi USA Journal is published here. With its extensive grounds and buildings, the campus holds large-scale events as well. We hosted Tzu Chi USA’s 25th Anniversary Annual Gathering in 2014, and the 2nd Tzu Chi USA English Spiritual Resource Retreat in 2015: We are starting a tradition of retreats where volunteers can come together to rejoice in the Tzu Chi spirit and share with their peers.
The Western Region Chapter is also very active here. California endures devastating and recurring wildfires, and our volunteers have been providing disaster relief on that front since 2003; offering cash to those who lost their homes, and loving support at a time of crisis. Our chapter also helps children from underprivileged families in the region. We run a Happy Campus program in several schools in Santa Ana, Orange County, and distribute food bags weekly: While hungry stomachs are filled, hopes and dreams for the future are replenished too. The Western Region is committed to saving the environment as well. We have a dynamic recycling program in place in the city of Cerritos, where we collect bottles and cans, recycle an average of 110,000 pounds of paper per year, and help support our charities with the money earned.
We at Tzu Chi USA’s National Headquarters and at the Western Region Chapter are a hub of activity aimed at serving others with loving care, and we are always ready to do more.