By Illinois News Team (Originally in English)
In response to Supreme Master Ching Hai’s loving request to bring warmth to the less fortunate in winter, with funds obtainable for reimbursement, a team of our Association members from the Illinois Center, USA set out on Sunday, December 23, 2012 to help the homeless during Christmas. After contacting several shelters in the Chicago area to determine what was most needed by the people, the team organized a gift distribution at the MorningStar Mission Ministries, Inc. in Joliet, a community southwest of the city. The Ministry had requested warm blankets and sweat suits, so we purchased US$3,243 worth of these items using contributions from our Association members.
Upon arriving at the shelter during lunchtime, we found that our team could not distribute the gifts directly as those expected to come to the Mission were not scheduled to arrive until dinnertime. However, the shelter director happily welcomed our gifts and indicated where we could leave them.
A young woman and her son were also at the facility to donate some sweaters. One of our Association members was dressed as Mrs. Santa Claus. The lady told her son to say, “Hi, Santa.” The boy’s face initially had a blank look but he lit up when he saw Mrs. Santa. He said “Hi,”, and it appeared as if he had been delightfully caught by surprise. He kept staring at Mrs. Santa with amazement while she told him that she was helping Santa. Little did he know that in this situation Santa Claus was really Supreme Master Ching Hai!
Mrs. Santa then selected a toy truck for the child from her bag of gifts. He was so happy that he kept smiling and looking back and forth between his new toy and Mrs. Santa while walking out with his mother. We knew that the boy was feeling Supreme Master Ching Hai’s love, and it was clear from the look on his face that he was delighted and sincerely grateful.
The Illinois Center’s overall contribution to the Mission included blankets, hats, zip-up hooded sweatshirts, pants, scarves, hats, toys for the children, and hand-written Christmas cards, along with vegan food such as spring rolls, muffins, pecan pies, and cookies.
Although we did not get to interact directly with the people in need, there is no doubt that Supreme Master Ching Hai’s love was present when they arrived and found their Christmas gifts had been delivered by Santa. We could feel Her blessings during every step of our gift distribution.
We were humbled by helping our homeless friends through the very caring MorningStar Mission Ministries. Thanks be to the loving heart of Supreme Master Ching Hai for this opportunity to serve others.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for Cold Weather Relief Work in Illinois (USA)
|Zip-up hooded sweatshirts||940.00||C|
|Spring roll ingredients||68.28||F|