By Formosa News Group (Originally in Chinese)
Formosa recently endured a particularly cold winter with temperatures reaching a 44- year low. Our Association members from centers throughout Formosa followed Supreme Master Ching Hai’s loving teachings by carrying out winter relief activities from December 2015 to March 2016, helping to bring warmth to the less-advantaged people in their areas. In total, they contributed TWD 945,766 (US$28,369) for the charitable effort.
On January 14, 2016, our Association members from Keelung Center contributed 42 winter jackets and 240 packs of hand warmers to Keelung Shelter of Zenan Homeless Social Welfare Foundation. Their representative expressed great happiness when trying on a jacket and receiving the hand warmers. Keelung Center received a certificate of appreciation by the Shelter, and our Association members encouraged the Shelter manager to provide vegan options at the year-end party to help homeless friends develop a healthy vegan diet.
On December 17, 2015, our Taipei Center Association members delivered winter clothes to Wanhua Social Welfare Service Center in Taipei City and Linkou Homeless Shelter in New Taipei City where the largest number of homeless individuals in the area gathered. On December 29, while many of our friends in need attended an event hosted by New Taipei City, our Association members contributed 120 towels and 200 shaving razors to the New Taipei City Volunteers Association, so our friends could greet the New Year feeling refreshed. On January 5, 2016, our Taipei Center again delivered eight boxes of winter clothing to Zenan Homeless Social Welfare Foundation located in Wanhua District, hoping to help the homeless people there cope with the cold temperatures during the winter.
In addition, our Taipei Center also formed the Love Ocean Animal Caring Team to offer support and contributions to individual animal shelters. In an effort to keep the sweet dogs and gentle cats warm during the cold temperatures, on December 30, the team first delivered four boxes of pre-owned clothes and blankets to Life Welfare & Environment Quality Association located in Linkou. The contribution offered comfort to over 100 animals in the shelter.
In January of 2016, the temperature in Taipei City dropped to four degrees Celsius, the coldest temperature recorded in 44 years. Concerned for the well-being of the helpless animals, our Taipei Center delivered a total of 90 bags of vegan dog food, each weighing 20 kilograms, together with copies of Master’s book The Dogs in My Life, to five individual shelters in the neighborhood. In the late afternoon of February 5, our Association members brought five bags of vegan dog food, each weighing two kilograms, and went with animal caregiver Mother Zhuo to feed the stray dogs along the banks of Keelung River. The contributions made by our Center could provide enough food for nearly 1,000 dogs for the cold winter. They hope more people will join in and care for our animal friends living on the streets.
As a result of the extreme cold and the continuous rainfall, many homeless individuals suffered even more because of their wet shoes. They needed rubber clogs to protect their feet. On March 9, 2016, our Taipei Center purchased 150 pairs of rubber clogs and visited the homeless individuals in Jieshou Park in Banqiao District. They distributed the clogs while accompanied by the Chief of New Taipei Social Welfare Division of Social Assistance, Mr. Jiaxing Chen; and the Chief and the Director of New Taipei City Volunteers Association, Mr. Limin Lu and Ms. Meiying Huang, respectively. The New Taipei City Volunteers Association presented a certificate of appreciation to our Association for regularly providing aid and financial assistance to those without homes. After a brief ceremony, the clogs were distributed to our homeless friends according to size. When the larger sizes ran out, our Association members immediately purchased 20 more pairs and sent them to New Taipei City Volunteers Association, and respectfully asked them to be distributed on their behalf.
During the cold winter, our Taoyuan Center provided aid to homeless individuals and financially challenged households that did not qualify for government subsidies. Since January 2016, our Center had distributed food to 288 households in 11 districts in Taoyuan City and the areas near New Taipei City. Each household received two packs of rice (four kilograms each), and one pack of noodles (two kilograms each). They also gave food rations, warm hats, warm socks and sleeping bags to 16 homeless people. For this effort, our Center also received the certificate of appreciation from Taoyuan City Social Welfare Yangmei Center of Households Service. In the month of January, our Center distributed a total of 580 packs of rice (four kilograms each), 292 packs of noodles (two kilograms each), 32 boxes of rations, 16 warm hats, 32 warm socks and 15 sleeping bags, which cost a total of TWD 135,269.
On January 24, 2016, the extreme cold experienced in Hsinchu County even brought snow in Jianshi Township. The following day, our Association members from Hsinchu Center supplied warm clothes, daily necessities and TWD 2,000 to each tribal household. Based on their needs, our Association members distributed socks, blankets, organic brown rice, noodles, cooking oil, soy sauce, dog food and other necessities. The minds and souls of the recipients were also nourished with Master’s The Key of Immediate Enlightenment Sample Booklet and The Supreme Master Ching Hai News Magazines. Due to the deep snow, transportation to certain households was blocked, so our Association members kindly requested the village chief to please help deliver the materials after the snow melted. Altogether, 62 households received relief items. The recipients were thankful to Supreme Master Ching Hai as they felt Master’s love for them.
For winter relief, on December 23, 2015, our Taichung Center contributed 50 twenty-kilogram bags of vegan dog food to individuals who had adopted street dogs. Thirty bags were given to Mrs. Ji’s Dog Shelter and 20 bags to Ms. Xiao, a woman who provides food for stray dogs. They hoped the food would provide nourishment to the lovely dogs during the cold winter.
With winter approaching, our Changhua Center visited disadvantaged families in different villages. On December 30 2015, our Center contributed vegan food, winter coats, hats, blankets and warm clothes to 15 disadvantaged families.
In early 2016, our Nantou Center delivered winter necessities and TWD 6,000 to four disadvantaged households each in Caotun Township, Puli Township of Nantou County, and Wufeng District in Taichung City. They also shared Master’s The Key of Immediate Enlightenment Sample Booklets, and flyers.
Our Chiayi Center contributed 82 coats to the Association of Spinal Cord Injury – Chiayi, hoping to help the patients during the cold winter. The chairman of the organization, Mr. Zhuyou Kuo, accepted the coats, and said they were great New Year gifts. He also awarded our Association a certificate of appreciation. The patients were very grateful for the coats. Our Association members thanked God, and hope the patients would pass through the cold season safely.
Our Tainan Center worked hard to help homeless and underprivileged individuals during the past winter. After contacting Zenan Homeless Social Welfare Foundation in Tainan City, our Center decided to contribute 120 Loving Hut meal tickets, each with a value of TWD 200.
On January 18, 2016, our Center brought 120 meal tickets, a copy of Master’s books Celestial Art and From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way Is the Answer, copies of The Supreme Master Ching Hai News Magazines, and a vegan cookbook to Tainan Shelter of Zenan Homeless Social Welfare Foundation. With the meal tickets, 50 homeless individuals and 70 families in need could have vegan meals or purchase goods at Loving Hut. It was right before the Chinese New Year, so our Association members were hoping the homeless individuals and the socially disadvantaged groups could share the happy atmosphere during the festival season.
Our Kaohsiung Center carried out a series of activities delivering necessities to those in need during the cold winter. Recipients included homeless friends, financially challenged families, elderly people living alone, orphanages and animal shelters. From December 24, 2015 to February 4, 2016, Our Association members from Kaohsiung Center delivered the materials or financial assistance to the designated areas where the recipients gathered.
Our Association members went to the Red Cross Nursery Center, Private Buddhist Ching Jou Orphanage, Yong-An Children’s Home, Ci-De Orphanage, and Christian Mountain Children’s Home to care for the children. Each facility received four 30-kilogram bags of white rice, six three-liter bottles of sunflower seed oil, six 1.6-liter bottles of soy sauce, twelve 1.2-kilogram noodle packs, two large bags of cookies and 58 packs of candy. The team members then met seven homeless individuals; each received one jacket, two pairs of pants, one bag for carrying their items, and one bag of cookies. Caring for our animal friends, our Association members went to Kaohsiung Concern Stray Animal Association and contributed 50 twenty-kilogram bags of vegan dog food and TWD 15,000 to Aranya Dog Sanctuary in Gangshan District. In addition, they provided 15 bags of vegan cat food to Ms. Pan, who provides shelter for 50 cats.
Concerned about the financially challenged families and the elderly people living alone, our Center contributed necessities to 20 families. Each family received one bag of white rice, a bottle of sunflower seed oil, a bottle of soy sauce, five packs of noodles, one pack of oatmeal, one bag of cookies and TWD 3,000 to TWD 5,000 in cash assistance.
As winter approached, our Hualien Center carried out a series of relief activities, contributing a total of TWD 120,921 to those in need.
Ms. Guo, the principal of The Affiliated Kindergarten of Feng Bin Elementary School, is a loving and enthusiastic teacher. Each year she applies for relief materials from our Association for the low-income, single-parent or grandparent-raised families, as well as for the elderly people in the Fengbin Township. On December 12, 2015, our Hualien Center prepared warm undergarments, warm hats, gloves, socks, towels, soap, toothpaste, cookies, and The Supreme Master Ching Hai News Magazines for 90 elderly citizens. They also prepared two kilograms of rice, and one-half liter of vegetable oil each for the families of 100 students. In addition, 100 kilograms of rice and two 18-kilogram barrels of vegetable oil were given to the kindergarten for their lunch program.
Over the years, our Association developed a relationship with Andrew Kindergarten, a facility that is managed by Catholic nuns. The principal, Sister Hu, publicly requests contributions for those less fortunate, and was appointed by the government to provide care to elderly individuals. She also provides tutelage to school children living in rural mountain areas. On December 4, 2015, our Hualien Center prepared warm clothes, hygiene products and cookies for 40 senior citizens. They also prepared two kilograms of rice and one-half liter of vegetable oil for each family of the 50 children in Andrew Kindergarten. In addition, 100 kilograms of rice, two cans of vegetable oil, 30 bags of noodles and four packs of vegan hot dogs were contributed to the kindergarten. For the nuns, they prepared two packs of Chinese pancakes, three vegan hams and 12 bottles of organic soymilk. To thank the nuns for their selfless sacrifice, our Center also contributed TWD 20,000 for maintenance of the facility.
The chairwoman of Hualien Life Console Sisterhood, Ms. Gu, requested aid from our Association on behalf of the elderly people living alone. On December 6, 2015 our Center prepared warm clothes, hygiene products, and copies of The Supreme Master Ching Hai News Magazines for 20 senior citizens.
Our Association members from Pingtung Center also worked together to help homeless individuals. During February and early March 2016, they invited those in need to Loving Hut, Ansin Branch in Pingtung to enjoy free vegan meals and to watch Master’s teachings on television and enjoy God’s love. For the events, our members made flyers and provided transport to Loving Hut. Loving Hut, Ansin Branch also prepared special tickets offering a free meal with a value up to TWD 80.
On February 3, 2016, our Association members visited the Cavak tribe to care for the disadvantage elderly who live alone in Cavak Village, Sandimen Township in Pingtung. It was New Year’s Day, so the tribe specifically invited the senior choir to hum the beautiful ancient tribal songs. As the elders gathered, each of the 40 senior citizens received two five-kilogram packs of rice. Our Association members also delivered quilts for 20 of these elderly residents who were most in need.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for Winter Relief Work in Formosa
|Keelung||42 winter jackets, one box of hand warmers||12,990||A|
|Taipei||170 pair of shoes, towels, razors, and 90 bags of vegan dog food||93,265||B|
|Taoyuan||Food (580 four-kilogram bags of white rice, 292 two-kilogram packs of noodles and 32 boxes of rations) and supplies (16 winter hats, 32 pairs of warm socks and 15 sleeping bags)||135,269||C|
|Hsinchu||Food (rice, cookies, noodles, cooking oil, soy sauce), supplies (blankets and socks), vegan dog food, and 62 cash contribution envelopes of TWD 2,000 each||268,806||D|
|Taichung||50 twenty-kilogram bags of vegan dog food and shipping costs||28,950||E|
|Changhua||Food (rice) and supplies (winter clothing, hats and blankets) and fuel for the relief team’s car||20,961||F|
|Nantou||Cash contributions of TWD 6,000 each for four families||24,000||G|
|Chiayi||82 winter jackets||28,700||H|
|Tainan||120 TWD 200-meal tickets||24,000||I|
|Kaohsiung||Cash contributions of TWD 50,000 to 16 families; TWD 15,000 to an animal shelter; food (cookies, candy, rice, cooking oil, soy sauce, noodles and oatmeal) supplies (jackets and pants), 50 bags of vegan dog food, 15 bags of vegan cat food||164,104||J|
|Hualien||Food (rice, cooking oil and noodles), supplies (gloves, hats, socks and hygiene products) and TWD 20,000 in cash contributions||120,921||K|
|Pingtung||80 bags of rice and 20 quilts||23,800||L|
|Total|| TWD 945,766