Michigan Flood Relief
News | July 27, 2017 by Midwest Region
The end of June brought heavy rains down on Michigan that flooded neighborhoods along Sturgeon Creek in north Midland. With the overflowing of the Chippewa River, and the Tittabawasse River meeting the yards of some Mid-Michigan homes, many areas were inundated by June 24th with over 90 highways closed, impacting more than 3,000 families.
As soon as the highways reopened, our volunteers from Lansing and Detroit immediately immersed themselves into the assessment process of the most severely hit areas in Midland and Isabella Counties.
July 15, 2017
Our relief volunteers held a disaster aid cash card distribution for individuals affected by the flood at Midland County Educational Service Agency benefiting 72 families.
“That card that you gave us is going to help tremendously to help put my home back together… We lost my home, my furniture. We lost everything, so we’re starting all over.”
When other people feel distress, it is echoed in the hearts of our volunteers, who wish to do everything in their ability to comfort and assuage that ache. To lift their spirits and show our support, volunteers also performed a sign language piece with all who had gathered at the distribution site.
One man at the relief event reflected on a concept that we hold true throughout all of our missions - that we are all one, and that love has no limitations:
“It’s easier to believe we’re all one family… I’m not feeling sorry for myself; I’m feeling grateful for everyone here giving so freely. It’s not the gifts, it’s the spirit.”
Volunteers also took the time to explain our philosophy of compassionate giving, and the origin of our foundation, which, as one individual mentioned, began with saving just two coins per day, as he too, contributed a few coins to our bamboo bank.
“What little I’ve got, maybe it can help someone else, so, just a little bit. It started with two cents.”
Our founder, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, along with 30 housewives, added just a few cents from what little they earned to bamboo banks each day in the hopes that it would help others, and Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation was sprung from this resolve in 1966. This determination is what continues to drive our volunteers, as does her motto: “We should give form to compassion by taking concrete actions.”
We look forward to providing further aid to those affected by this flood, and soothing their worries as they work toward rebuilding their homes and lives.