Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation

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Home Tzu Chi Holds Distribution to 2,000 Families in New York

Tzu Chi Holds Distribution to 2,000 Families in New York

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Tzu Chi volunteers hand out goods with deep bow and respect. (Photo provided by Tzu Chi Foundation) On November 11, 400 Tzu Chi volunteers distributed cash cards, blankets and daily necessities to nearly 2,000 families in six districts in the greater New York area. The families are suffering from a shortage of power and water and freezing temperatures almost two weeks after the passage of Hurricane Sandy. The recipients were extremely moved by this generosity.

The six districts were Lindenhurst on Long Island, Hamilton, Lower Manhattan, Staten Island and South Toms River and Atlantic City in New Jersey. It was 12 days ago that the hurricane struck the New York area. Many homes still do not have electricity, gas or running water and temperatures are close to zero. The plight of many people is serious.

The volunteers divided into six groups to cover the different districts. They distributed US$600 cash cards, blankets and bags containing daily necessities to a total of 1,950 families. The Mayor of South Toms River, Joseph Champagne, took part in the distribution; to express his appreciation, he bowed deeply to the volunteers. 

The residents were especially moved to receive the cash cards; some of them were moved to tears, saying that it was like an infusion of blood that would save their life. Some said they would use it to pay repair men to come and restore their telephone line; others will buy construction materials to repair the damage which the floods have done to their homes and others will buy food. More important than any of these was the fact that the card is a symbol of concern, bringing warmth to the heart of the recipients. When they learnt that the money had come from the donations patiently collected by members of Tzu Chi, they took a bamboo bank from the volunteers, so they can become donors themselves. Some even rushed home at once to bring a jar of coins and make an immediate contribution to help others.

Tzu Chi volunteers continue on their charity work to comfort and assist more hurricane survivors.