By Formosa News Team (Originally in Chinese)
Following Supreme Master Ching Hai’s teaching to always help those less fortunate, our Centers in Formosa provided loving support, including warm winter supplies, vegan food and other assistance, to our friends in need during the colder months.
Keelung Center worked with Zenan Homeless Social Welfare Foundation to organize an event to bring warmth to the disadvantaged and homeless people on Zhongchuan Road on January 14, 2017.
Approximately 50 to 60 homeless people attended the event. Our working team started to prepare a variety of delicious vegan food on January 13. The next morning, the working team came early to decorate the place, and later warmly received the attending guests during the event. All the guests enjoyed the vegan meal and highly praised the vegan braised soup. At the end of the event, each of them was given a gift pack containing vegan snacks, drinks and a disposable heating pad before leaving happily with our best wishes.
When the first wave of cold air drastically brought down the temperature, our Association members from Taipei Center were concerned about the well-being of the homeless people. Thus, on December 15, 2016, before the arrival of another cold air wave, we contributed 36 boxes of winter clothes, quilts and supplies and delivered them to Wanhua Social Welfare Service Center managed by the Department of Social Welfare Taipei City Government and New Taipei City Volunteer Association.
Many homeless people stay in Wanhua District and most of them spend their evenings at the train station or Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) underground shopping area. Wanhua Social Welfare Service Center provides shower facilities, clothes and other items at their office, so that the homeless people can freshen up to go to work. Therefore, the center needs a lot of clothes. When we delivered 21 boxes of supplies with clear labels outside to Wanhua Social Welfare Service Center office, the social workers were very happy and thanked us repeatedly. The director of the Social Service Center, Mr. Chiu Ching-Hsiung, said with a big smile, “Thank you very much. These are exactly what we need right now. They will satisfy the demands of about 150 homeless people taking showers and changing clothes every day.” He also told us, “These suitcases and bags are wonderful for the homeless people to store their things. They will love it!”
Next, we delivered another 15 boxes of supplies including blankets, suitcases and winter jackets to New Taipei City Volunteer Center, which nearly filled up their office. The director of New Taipei City Volunteer Center, Ms. Huang Mei-Ying, told Mr. Lu Li-Min, the chairman of the Volunteer Center, that our Association members were all very loving, very caring and very attentive and we have always organized everything very well in the last few years, which made their work easier. Ms. Huang said, “Thanks for your help and support over the years to take care of the homeless people. I also thank Master and all the members for spreading love, which warms up the hearts of the suffering people!”
Following Supreme Master Ching Hai’s instruction and Her shining example, Formosa Hsinchu Center started Warmth in Winter charity work. On December 31, 2016, we visited two disadvantaged families. To each family, we gave TWD 2,000 cash, organic rice, noodles, cooking oil, a gift bag containing vegan biscuits, jelly, soymilk powder, etc, which are loved by the elderly and the children, and Supreme Master Ching Hai’s biography and books.
On January 20, 2017, we visited 30 disadvantaged families in Jianshi Township, Hsinchu County, and then we went to another three families in Guanxi Township, Hsinchu County. In March 2017, together with Libahak Association, we visited 12 disadvantaged families in Hsinchu City. Libahak Association works for aboriginal people as a job agent, also cooking and delivering food to disadvantaged families who need support. During the two visits, we introduced Supreme Master Ching Hai and veganism to these friends, and then gave each family TWD 2,000 cash, organic rice, noodles, vegan soy meat, and a sweet gift bag.
Thanks to Master, we completed the Warmth in Winter charity work smoothly. We sincerely wish our support will help these 47 disadvantaged families during the winter. The total cost of this charity work was TWD 142,138.
On January 19, 2017, our Taichung Association members visited Fu Min Elementary School to support the disadvantaged families by contributing TWD 30,000 to their school fund.
Taichung Fu Min Elementary School is located at Baimaotai area in the mountains. The school, which was severely damaged during the devastating 1999 “921” earthquake, has been reconstructed with beautiful buildings surrounded by green trees and other plants. In addition, the school was relocated to Xinshe District from Heping District. Since Xinshe is not an aboriginal district, the school has received fewer resources and has a higher teacher turnover rate. Currently there are 22 students enrolled in the school whose parents are mainly Hakka people who plant fruit trees. Many students come from families of which one parent is a foreigner, and many of them are in a disadvantaged position. However, the whole school is working towards the goal of becoming a vibrant forest elementary school. We sincerely wish this humble act will attract more support for the disadvantaged children.
At the end of 2016, a few cold fronts passed though Formosa and some disadvantaged families needed help and support. Our Association members from Changhua Center were concerned that these families were not prepared for the cold weather, so we paid them a visit. From December 9 to 25, 2016, we donated warm clothes and items, vegan food, cash, Master’s The Key of Immediate Enlightenment Sample Booklets, and The Supreme Master Ching Hai News Magazines to several disadvantaged families, hoping these items would warm them up and help them get through the winter.
Since Dacheng District is located in a remote southwest area, life is not easy for the local people, and it is challenging for the charitable organizations to reach them. We made a special effort to find the families who have received less attention from government and charities and gave them each a warm flannel blanket, rice, and a red envelope with TWD 500 cash. Later we went to Zhutang Township nearby and visited the disadvantaged families one by one in Wuzhuang Village, under the guidance of the village chief Mr. Hong Shun-Tian and his wife, and delivered relief items. In total we visited 10 families in these two areas. All the recipients were very happy and smiled brightly when they received Master’s loving gifts. Their smiles were like sunshine and warmed everyone’s hearts.
Finally, we visited five more disadvantaged families in the company of Shanxi Village Chief, Mr. Lin Dong-Liang, in Xiushui Township, where our Center is located as well. We gave each family TWD 2,000 cash. We sincerely hope our contributions will bring them hope and comfort. We are grateful to the two village chiefs who selflessly took their time to help us. Most importantly, we are deeply grateful for Master’s love and the opportunity to learn and grow.
Following Supreme Master Ching Hai’s example of being loving and kind to our neighbors and participating in Pingtung Government’s End of Year Warmth in Winter activities, our Pingtung Association members donated TWD 1,000 each to 84 disadvantaged families near our Center on January 11, 2017. Then on January 23, we asked the heads of Xinzhi Village and Jiazuo Village in Wanluan Township near our Center to help identify the families that needed assistance, but are not qualified as disadvantaged families by government standards. To each of the 17 identified families in Xinzhi Village and 14 families in Jiazuo Village, we gave six kilograms of organic rice. In order to help the aboriginal disadvantaged families and elderly people in the remote areas, we asked Pingtung County Aboriginal Culture and Art Development Association to provide a list of disadvantaged families. Afterwards we gave each of the 60 families on the list six kilograms of organic rice as well. In the end, we received three Certificates of Appreciation from Pingtung County Government Mayor Mr. Pan Men-An, Wanluan Township Mayor Mr. Lin Bi Qian, and Pingtung County Aboriginal Culture and Art Development Association. Our deep gratitude to Master for the opportunities to follow Her compassionate footsteps to share love with our neighbors.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for Winter Relief Work in Formosa
|Keelung||Vegan meal, snacks, drinks and disposable heating pad, with support from our fellow Association members||0|
|Taipei||Clothing, quilts, blankets, winter jackets and suitcases, with support from our fellow Association members||0|
|Hsinchu||Cash assistance to 47 families, food (organic rice, noodles, vegan soy meat and cooking oil) and gift bags (biscuits, jelly, soymilk powder, etc.)||142,138||A|
|Taichung||Contribution to school fund for helping the students of disadvantaged families||30,000||B|
|Changhua||10 bags of rice, 10 blankets, TWD 2,000 cash for five families, TWD 500 cash for 10 families, gasoline||27,867||C|
|Pingtung||Cash contribution TWD 84,000 for disadvantaged families and organic rice, with support from our fellow Association members||84,000||D|
|Total||TWD 284,005 US$8,781|