By Indiana, USA News Team (Originally in English)
Deeply concerned seeing individuals in need during harsh winters, Supreme Master Ching Hai asked our Association members to do whatever we can to bring warmth and share love, while also making funds available to support these efforts if needed. From December 2012 to January 2013, a team from our Indiana Center in the United States conveyed Supreme Master Ching Hai’s love to the less fortunate in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana. With US$2,572 of our Association members’ contributions, we purchased and distributed blankets, winter jackets, warm socks, flashlights and batteries.
After conducting research, our team learned that Fort Wayne’s homeless population was being well cared for by The Rescue Mission, a faith-based, non-profit organization that provides shelter and three meals a day to those in need. However, to ensure that no homeless individuals were missed, our team drove around the downtown area, but found no one living on the streets.
Our team then contacted the group, Saints on the Streets, and joined them in a relief effort on December 10. With the guidance of an avid volunteer named Molly, jackets, blankets, socks and bottles of water were distributed to approximately 12 people who were spending the night outdoors. One person was especially enthusiastic about receiving Supreme Master Ching Hai’s book From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer.
Among the Indianapolis organizations helping homeless people is the Christ Church Apostolic, where our team contacted Brother John Robinson, a devoted member who coordinates the Take it To the Streets ministry, which helps people living in shelters and on the streets. Brother Robinson also works with the Women of Worth Transition Home, which provides a safe environment for women transitioning from difficult life situations. At the Home, the residents work toward building strong and healthy lives, with God’s help. Brother Robinson, a skilled contractor, purchases abandoned homes and refurbishes them for the women with the help of his staff.
On December 15, Brother Robinson and his assistants guided our team around the Indianapolis area to distribute jackets, blankets, socks, flashlights and spare batteries to people living on the streets, in hidden camps or in the woods near downtown Indianapolis.
A total of 42 jackets, 74 blankets, 236 pairs of socks, 30 flashlights and 168 batteries were purchased for homeless individuals. At the end of our effort in both cities, all the jackets and flashlights had been distributed. Also, copies of From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer were gladly accepted by several of the recipients. The remaining books, socks, blankets and batteries were left with Brother Robinson, who planned to give them away later. Approximately 58 people received help from our team in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.
Of special note is that despite living under difficult conditions, the Christmas spirit was certainly present in these children of God, as reflected in their joyful smiles. Our sincere appreciation to Brother John Robinson and the other individuals and organizations dedicated to helping our homeless brethren. Also, our deep gratitude to Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her loving care and generosity.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International
Association for Winter Weather Relief Work in Indiana, USA
|Blankets, jackets and socks, etc.||2,367.03||A|
|Flashlights and batteries||155.16||B|