By United Kingdom Relief Team (Originally in English)
On December 31, 2015, Storm Frank swiped parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, causing devastating floods. Many people were evacuated from their homes and thousands lost power. Out of concern for those affected, Supreme Master Ching Hai provided US$18,000 and lovingly asked our Association members to quickly render assistance. Our London Center contributed an additional US$2,282.60. From January 1 to 3, 2016, our Association members from Surrey and London formed a relief team, and traveled to affected areas in England. We distributed a total of GBP 8,450 (US$12,508) in financial aid from Master’s fund and copies of Master’s book From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way Is the Answer to about 169 people in need.
York, England – January 1, 2016
On January 1, 2016, our relief team visited The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the city of York, where relief efforts were being coordinated. The woman we spoke with directed us to two locally affected areas – Navigation Road and Gypsy Park, where water levels in the park had risen to 1.5 meters high, and everyone was forced to evacuate. We distributed many envelopes containing financial contributions to citizens staying in temporary accommodations nearby. They told us the flood had come without any warning and was very turbulent, destroying everything in its path.
Lancashire, England – January 2, 2016
The next day, we visited Whalley Village in Lancashire, where many houses had over a meter of water wash through them, leaving inches of silt and mud behind. On one street, many people were undertaking repairs themselves, and neighbors came together to help one another. We met a selfless man called Steven, who, even though he was not affected himself by the flood, put his business on hold to help other people.
Later, we went to a retirement home in Croston Village, Lancashire, and gave out envelopes containing financial assistance and distributed copies of Master’s book From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way Is the Answer. Some people were very emotional when receiving the assistance.
Cumbria, England – January 3, 2016
On January 3, we went to Kendal, Glenridding and Keswick in Lake District, Cumbria.
Kendal was one of the worst affected areas we saw, as the majority of the houses were empty due to people being forced to leave and items being washed away or damaged by the floods. Despite these circumstances, many people have kept positive attitudes and continue to help each other.
The village of Glenridding was hit by the floods three times. Many businesses were affected, so people were grateful to receive financial aid.
In Keswick, we heard some people would not be able to return to their houses for months, but a woman we met told us the community services have been very organised, and those people were now cared for and in accommodations.
Many recipients have thoughtfully expressed their gratitude for the assistance. For example, Mr. Kenny D’Arcy wrote, “I just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU for your kind gift. It is so nice to know that kind people like yourselves are still about and still doing kind and excellent work around the communities. ”
Contributions for Norwich, England
Our United Kingdom Association members also sent GBP 1,137.49 (US$1,683.60) in cleaning supplies to a local voluntary group in Norwich, where they have a warehouse to keep all items needed to help the residents recover after flood.
During this relief work we have witnessed the human spirit rising up to challenges and people helping each other in times of need. It was a heartwarming experience and we are deeply grateful to Master for the opportunity to serve and bring Her love to those affected.
Aberdeenshire, Scotland – January 18 to 19, 2016
In early January of 2016, torrential rain hit northeast Scotland, with the River Don reaching water levels higher than those in the last 45 years. Severe flooding caused by the river overflowing its banks led many dozens of families to evacuate their homes. On January 18 and 19, two of our Association members from Surrey, United Kingdom, traveled to Scotland and visited various flood-damaged areas in Aberdeenshire.
We stopped by Kintore, Kemnay, Inverurie, Port Elphinstone, Ellon and Methlick, and gave out a total of GBP 4,115 (US$6,091) from the relief fund to 65 affected families and businesses, 100 copies of Master’s book From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way Is the Answer, as well as 600 copies of “Be Vegan, Make Peace” flyers.
In the worst-hit areas, Inverurie and Port Elphinstone, we met The Right Honourable Alex Salmond, Member of Parliament of Scotland and the United Kingdom, and former First Minister of Scotland. We also met Councillor Hamish Vernal, First Citizen or Civic Head of Aberdeenshire. We gave both respected leaders a copy of Master’s book From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way Is the Answer, and pray the book will inspire them to take quick action to curb global warming.
In a street close to the river in Port Elphinstone, where all citizens were relocated, we gave financial contributions to a woman living in an adjacent street to pass on to her neighbors.
In Kenmay, we visited a primary school that lost a lot of books, toys and other supplies due to the flooding. The Head Teacher told us that the community had been amazing in offering support and donations. We also gave her a contribution so the school could buy new books for the children. She was very touched and wanted to make sure she had contact info to write a thank-you letter.
At the end of our stay, we distributed the remainder of Master’s books and flyers we had to individuals and businesses in Inverurie. We also left Master’s books and flyers in the youth hostel in Aberdeen, at the business where we rented a car, and at a castle tourist attraction on the way home.
Many people were amazed that we came from South East England to help out, so we explained it was Supreme Master Ching Hai who inspires us to be compassionate to all.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association for Flood Relief Work in England and Scotland, United Kingdom
|Cash contributions to the affected people in England||8,450.00||A|
|Cash contributions to the affected people in Scotland||4,115.00||B|
|Total|| GBP 13,702.49
Throughout the relief operation, our team members paid US$682 for their own transportation and accommodations.
Flood Relief Work in Scotland – January 2016
Flood Relief Work in England – January 2016