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Thursday, 15 November 2012 00:00

Give A Helping Hand to US Hurricane Victims

Written by  By Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Documenting Team/ Translated by Wong Mun Heng

Special prayers were held at all the 12 Study Group activities in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor zones. Together everyone prayed for the best for the US hurricane victims and hoped that things would turn out for the better soonest possible.【Photograph by Ong Siew Geok】

On November 15, 2012, Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur & Selangor launched a 10-day fundraising campaign to "Give a helping hand to US hurricane victims". Tzu Chi volunteers sincerely prayed for the victims and hoped to touch the hearts of the public while soliciting loving-kindness from them through this campaign. This fundraising effort will also be broadcasted through the local Chinese media.


Hurricane Sandy lashed through the islands of the Caribbean and blanketed the entire densely populated U.S. East Coast with torrential rain and devastating wind at the end of October. Many families are still reeling from the aftermath and having to deal with collapsed buildings, flood damages, harsh winter temperature and battered public infrastructures.

Since October 30, Tzu Chi USA has mobilized volunteers and gone to disaster stricken areas to distribute warm meals, blankets, debit cards and their love and care to the affected victims. The hurricane has affected a very large area and caused severe damages, thus bringing hardships to many households. If every household is to be given US$600/- in financial aid, Tzu Chi needs to budget a total of US$20 million for this cause. In the meantime, Tzu Chi Headquarters in Taiwan has already dispatched 3,000 kilos of instant rice packets and 10,000 blankets to New York, USA.

Master Cheng Yen said, "Through mutual help, we can see hope in mankind. Those who are safe are blessed people. They must always have the kind thought of helping others. In a way, this is a blessing to oneself and to those who are in pain." The Master reiterated that Tzu Chi is out to solicit for loving-kindness more than cash. So long as Tzu Chi volunteers can get things moving, the cycle of kindness will garner more loving-kindness from everyone, thereby presenting blessings to those in pain.

On November 15, 2012, Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur & Selangor launched a 10-day fundraising campaign to "Give a helping hand to US hurricane victims". Besides their sincere prayers for the victims, Tzu Chi volunteers also hope to touch the hearts of the public while soliciting loving-kindness from them through this campaign. This fundraising effort will also be broadcasted through the local Chinese media.

At their usual morning assembly on November 15, all staff of Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur & Selangor launched a fundraising campaign and offered prayers for the US hurricane victims. At the launch, Deputy CEO, Song Quek Khian urged everyone that while they are living in peace, they should not forget the disaster victims but should help them instead. To be able to help those "who are rich" is a blessing. So, do not hesitate in offering our loving-kindness right away.

That same evening, special prayers were held at all the 12 Study Group activities in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor zones. Together everyone prayed for the best for the US hurricane victims and hoped that things would turn out for the better soonest possible.

Reach out and help those in difficulties

At the Subang USJ Study Group activity, volunteer Tan Soon Hock said, "Master Cheng Yen frequently reminds everyone that love should transcend borders, races and religions. When the blacks are in difficulties, we offer help. Similarly, when the whites are having difficulties, we offer help too."

Soon Hock asked everyone, "Take out your right hand. Put it in your pocket. Turn your love into action. Put your loving-kindness into the donation box. We shall send all these loving-kindness to US victims." It then dawned on the audience that they have been asked to donate money.

Seated at the front row was Huang Ri Ming, a frequent attendee of the Study Group activity. He took out US$51/- and dropped it into the donation box. He said, "Wherever there is disaster, Tzu Chi volunteers are always the first to be seen. I've been waiting to see which organisation will start first. Finally, I saw this happening tonight." Ri Ming also enjoys learning the sign language.

With so many disasters happening around the globe, he understands that life is impermanent and therefore he has been constantly reminding himself to do good deeds whenever possible.

A bit emotional, 60-year old Xie Lan Ying said, "When we were asked to donate, my immediate reaction was why would a world power need our help?"

Brotherhood of man precedes blood relationship

An elderly-looking Chen Yue Lan said, "I remember Master Cheng Yen once said that 'The colors of our skin may differ but not our blood.' As such, we must help whoever is in need of help." Yue Lan works at a restaurant and even though her income is not much, her generosity is definitely a good testimony of her empathy and compassion for others.

Yue Lan said, "Brotherhood of man precedes blood relationship." From this hurricane disaster, she has learnt to better appreciate the concept of impermanence and karma.

It was the first time that two siblings, Chen Xin Le and Chen Xue Ren, followed their parents to attend the Study Group session. Xin Le felt that "Many high-tech inventions came from the Americans and they have benefited many of us. Since they are now having trouble, we should help." Xue Ren added, "The Americans are quite kind-hearted. No doubt they are rich, but they are now in trouble, so we should help them."

A Taiwanese entrepreneur, Wei Zao Zeng said, "Man can never withstand the force of nature. Being an advanced country, the US would have taken the necessary measures to handle the disaster. Nevertheless, the care and support given by Tzu Chi volunteers to the victims in the disaster stricken area would definitely make a difference to the hearts of the locals." As a regular Tzu Chi donor, Zhao Zheng also donated on this occasion, clearly a true reflection of "For good deeds, count me in always."

Blessed kids must learn how blessed they are

This hurricane had caused water and electricity disruptions in New York City and the loss of more than 20,000 homes. After the Study Group session, video clips of the hurricane disaster in New York were screened. Volunteer Eo Mooi Yan remarked that the audience at the Sri Damansara Study Group was awed by what they saw.

Mooi Yan asked, "Having seen what had happened at New York, shall we lend our helping hands to help them over this difficult period?"

Worried that his wife and kid might not have the money for donation, volunteer Qin Jie Tian walked over and passed them the due amount of RM10/- per person. The amount may not be big, but the kind gesture meant that they have big hearts. As a regular viewer of Da Ai TV, Jie Tian has obviously taken note of every word uttered by the Master when he said, "Master has been calling upon everyone to donate, and I'm just answering to Master's call to offer a bit of our compassion."

Zhou Qun Xi brought his two kids, 7-year old Zhe Xuan and 11-year old You Xuan, to the Sri Damansara Study Group session. When the screen was showing New York submerged in water and houses destroyed, Qun Xi said, while referring to his children, "Hopefully, these blessed kids understand how blessed they are."

"The poor American kids..." With money given by their father, You Xuan and Zhe Xuan dropped their loving-kindness into the donation box.

"All this while I thought America is a rich country and should be able to cope with all these disasters without any need for external assistance. This hurricane has devastated America's financial centre and even the rich ones were not spared their homes and cars. No matter what status and position one may hold, the consequence is the same when natural disaster strikes.

Every kind thought helps to alleviate disaster

Scenes of the destructive force of Hurricane Sandy and the anguish of the American victims were also shown at the Sungai Long Fellowship Centre Study Group session. Many volunteers and all those present were touched by the plight of the victims. Together they sincerely prayed for the disaster victims and later they donated generously.

After witnessing the suffering of so many Americans when their houses were destroyed, Wang Jian Mei felt very sad. She felt that when someone is in hardship, everyone, regardless of where one comes from, should step forward to help the disaster victims. Besides financial aid, we Malaysians can also offer prayers for them.

Jian Mei believes that by observing vegetarianism, there will be fewer disasters. Every day we observe abstinence is like giving a new life for a day. When approached by volunteers, she happily signed up for the street fundraising campaign.

A first timer to the activity, Chen Rui Zhang indicated that he has learnt a lot from the "Water Repentance" and from this Study Group session. He felt that many disasters are caused by the incorrect thoughts of man. He said, "These days, most people are blinded by materialistic desires and pursuits. As the result, they suffer from this sense of insecurity and discontentment."

Rui Zhang felt that a direct way of helping Americans is definitely with material assistance. However, a longer term solution is to educate them about the proper concept of life so that they will not, in the course of satisfying their selfish desires, cause massive destruction to the environment.

To quote Master Cheng Yen: All life forms are intertwined and share a common destiny with the Earth. Everyone should be reminded that in the event of more massive disasters, more loving-kindness is needed. Only positive blessings can change retributions and bring peace to all.



The shocking disaster has shaken the hearts of many. With the launch of this fundraising campaign, Tzu Chi volunteers nationwide have taken to the streets. The response has been positive as many have already participated in this campaign. With the publicity and series of fundraising activities, it is hoped that we can harness everyone's loving-kindness and deliver them all the way to the disaster victims living in Eastern USA. This loving-kindness will definitely warm the hearts of the many victims, who are bracing themselves for the cold winter.

 

Everyone sincerely praying for the New York disaster victims and also hope for the speedy reconstruction of their homes.【Photograph by Sam Pin Fook】
On November 15, all staff of Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur/Selangor launched a fundraising campaign at the morning assembly and offered prayers for the US hurricane victims.【Photograph by Tia Yee Ling】

Everyone sincerely praying for the New York disaster victims and also hope for the speedy reconstruction of their homes.【Photograph by Sam Pin Fook】


On November 15, all staff of Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur/Selangor launched a fundraising campaign at the morning assembly and offered prayers for the US hurricane victims.【Photograph by Tia Yee Ling】

The response was very good and many donated.【Photograph by Tan Ken Teik】
Zhou Zhe Xuan drops his savings into the donation box.【Photograph by Tan Ken Teik】

The response was very good and many donated.【Photograph by Tan Ken Teik】


Zhou Zhe Xuan drops his savings into the donation box.【Photograph by Tan Ken Teik】

From the
From this hurricane disaster, Chen Yue Lan felt that she has learnt to better appreciate the concept of impermanence and karma.【Photograph by Teh Poh Tat】

From the "Water Repentance" lessons, Chen Rui Zhang felt that he has learnt a lot about the proper values in life and that one should not be blinded by materialistic desires and pursuits.【Photograph by Tai Woon Kong】


From this hurricane disaster, Chen Yue Lan felt that she has learnt to better appreciate the concept of impermanence and karma.【Photograph by Teh Poh Tat】

 

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