On May 23, a catastrophic tornado hit southern Missouri, killing over a hundred people and leaving many others injured. Tzu Chi mobilized a team of 64 volunteers to conduct relief assessments and distribute supplies to tornado victims throughout the damaged areas. On June 4, Tzu Chi Foundation’s Midwest division hosted a two-day distribution in Joplin, Missouri. Local representatives from the American Red Cross sought out Tzu Chi volunteers to organize and host relief efforts in certain areas. Tzu Chi volunteers handed out relief supplies, including blankets and hot meals, to over 1500 people affected by the tornado. Emergency cash cards worth $300 each were given to over 600 families identified as particularly needy. A few people in the area were already well acquainted with the Bodhisattva ochangelsoch, with their blue and white uniforms, and expressed their gratitude for Tzu Chi’s compassion. Those who had never heard of Tzu Chi were amazed by the organization. Many left with not only material, but also spiritual support and reassurance that they could recover from the disaster and move on with their lives.
After the two-day distribution, Tzu Chi received a call from Red Cross, asking if Tzu Chi would be able to host another relief effort. The next major distribution is scheduled for June 23. Tzu Chi will continue monitoring the situation until then.
About Tzu Chi
The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, whose name means "compassion and relief," is an international humanitarian organization with a special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in 1966, the group has nearly 10 million volunteers and supporters in 50 countries and has provided aid in 70 countries. Tzu Chi's work spans the fields of charity, medicine, education, environmental protection and disaster relief. It also established what is now the world's third largest bone marrow donor registry, and promotes humanistic values and community volunteerism.
For more information on how to make a donation in the United States, please visit http://www.us.tzuchi.org/usa/home.nsf/other/donateCharity
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