By Spain News Team (Originally in Spanish)
During the most severe winter days of 2012-13, Supreme Master Ching Hai’s compassionate heart reached out to the most needy as She requested our Association members provide warmth and love to the less fortunate.
Upon receiving Master’s contribution of €3,000, together with €547 from our Association members, a team of our Spanish Association members set out to distribute €750 to homeless individuals in the city of Marbella on the Mediterranean coast. The team first contacted the Spanish Red Cross to determine what was most needed. After speaking with the staff we decided to provide the local homeless with sleeping bags and mats. The Spanish Red Cross said they could do a lot with what was given and were delighted to receive Master’s contribution.
We sent an additional €1,000 to València in western Spain, where our local Association members contacted the Charity Association of València and decided to offer the organization much needed blankets. The Charity Association’s staff were happy to be able to give the blankets to the homeless to help them stay warm during the cold of winter.
Next, our team contacted a Christian church called Ejército de Salvación (Army of Salvation) in Madrid. The church director, Mr. Cristobal Alvarez, said their organization served breakfast and dinner to homeless citizens twice a week and also let them have showers and wash their clothes at their facility.
Mr. Alvarez also mentioned that their washing machine was not working so the people could not wash their clothes. We then purchased a new machine and the church staff were so happy that they had no words to thank Master.
The team also provided gift bags containing gloves, scarfs, socks and undergarments, as well as several sleeping bags for those that were sleeping in the streets. The staff members said they were planning to offer a Christmas Dinner on December 21 and were happy to know we would attend the dinner to distribute the items. Upon receiving the Christmas gifts the people were delighted.
In addition, we contacted Albergue San Isidro, an official homeless shelter run by the City Hall of Madrid. The shelter has 300 beds, but the nun responsible for the facility said that due to the severe cold and difficult situations of many people, more were sleeping in the streets. Although workers for the city’s Urgent Medical Service drove around at night to help those sleeping in the streets, many still had to sleep in corridors and wherever else shelter can be found. The staff members at Albergue San Isidro were glad to receive the sleeping bags and gift bags, and expressed deep gratitude to Master for the thoughtful items.
We also searched the streets several times at night to provide our homeless friends with gifts and sleeping bags. All were sincerely thankful to receive the items.
Our heartfelt gratitude to Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her love, for caring for the less fortunate with Her benevolent gifts in a time of bitter cold, and also for the opportunity for us to learn compassion by helping those most in need.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association
for Winter Relief Work in Spain 2012-13
|Funds for the Red Cross of Marbella to deliver 24 sleeping bags and bed mats||795.72||A|
|Funds for the Charitable Association of València to deliver blankets||900.00|
|Contribution to the Charitable Association of Madrid to purchase washing machine||349.00|
|Sleeping bags given by the Charity Association to those sleeping in the streets||923.15|
|Gloves, hats, socks, scarfs, and undergarments for the most needy||579.15||B|