Charity with Love
The World of Tzu Chi | May 25, 2017 by Southern Region
We are dedicated to helping those who suffer due to poverty, hunger, or the lack of medical care. We provide a variety of charity programs for the unprivileged in our communities in the Houston area, which our volunteers offer with attentive care, cherishing the kinship and connections that blossom from each opportunity to serve.
We are part of Tzu Chi USA’s nationwide Happy Campus program which provides assistance to low-income students across the country. One of the participating schools in Houston is Landis Elementary, located in a low-income area. According to our survey, 95% of students are in the school’s free-lunch program. Every Friday, our volunteers distribute weekend food-packs to help ensure that students don’t go hungry before the start of the following school day.
After we learned that many parents can’t afford school uniforms for their kids, we organized our first distribution, providing 100 students with personally packaged uniforms and shoes in a bag donning their names. We now provide bi-annual distributions, providing school uniforms; holiday food bags; jacket, shoes, scarves, and socks; donations of books, and more.
Each semester, our volunteers also organize a Teacher Appreciation Day, during which they serve tea and desserts to the staff, while sharing Tzu Chi’s Bamboo Bank story and introducing Jing Si Aphorisms by offering books. The concise Jing Si Buddhist teachings inspire teachers, who later share the wisdom contained with their students. The Tzu Chi spirit also inspires donations on behalf of our current disaster relief and other critical missions.
Our bi-annual Health Fair provides an extensive range of essential medical, dental, and vision care services. To date we have served a total of over 10,000 people in need of health care, providing peace of mind as well, as people are reassured by knowing that their medical issues have been addressed.
Acupuncture, social services, health education, Hepatitis C testing, bone marrow matching, and free haircuts are also offered during these outreach events. Our volunteers are on site to assist and guide those attending the fair, helping assure that each individual’s and family’s needs are met as far as possible.
They take the time to ensure that each food box is filled with healthy food, selecting the items with care, then personally cutting, peeling, preparing, and packing them, their heartfelt goal being that each recipient can prepare the best quality meals possible.
The distributions are another chance for underprivileged aid recipients and our volunteers to connect heart-to-heart, and create a mutually inspiring and lasting impression.
Taught in a supportive and egalitarian environment based on the principle that “Education is without borders or distinction,” these students will carry the Tzu Chi spirit into the future, as they uphold its guiding values of gratitude, respect, and love. Our hope is that they will grow into caring adults who follow their hearts and help those in need.