By Boston Relief Team (Originally in English)
With heartfelt concern for the well-being of the less fortunate during the cold winter months, Supreme Master Ching Hai requested our Association members to bring warmth to those in need. In December 2012, the Boston Center conducted a major blanket distribution project for the homeless in their city and surrounding areas with the help of a caring contribution of over US$9,190 from Supreme Master Ching Hai, together with nearly US$910 from our Association members. Fortunately, all of our orders for warm clothing and supplies arrived on schedule, including 1,000 twin fleece blankets, 576 pairs of men’s thermal socks, 240 pairs of ladies’ crew socks, 400 “Be Vegan Make Peace” bags, 50 small blankets, and 1,000 “Be Vegan Make Peace” stickers. In addition, we received a generous discount and free shipping on the blankets.
Our working team wrapped 312 blankets for immediate distribution as well as more blankets and socks for distribution the following week.
On December 17, despite difficult roads, cars caked with ice and the worst bout of freezing rain in years, our Worcester team was able to make deliveries to six homeless shelters. Before heading home, one team member remembered a shelter where the homeless go for free meals. Although it was getting dark and she felt concerned about going, she decided to go. Upon arriving, she found the shelter filled to capacity with many people standing outside. As the team member walked in with 40 bags of blankets, all eyes joyfully followed the bags. She immediately realized she needed more blankets, and returned to the Boston Center for more. Seeing the people’s faces light up upon receiving the blankets made it all worthwhile, she said. The next day the Worcester team delivered blankets and socks to two more shelters.
That same week, our Springfield team delivered blankets to a men’s shelter and a shelter for teen mothers and their babies. At both locations the residents greeted the team members with thanks and appreciation. The next day we made a delivery to a family shelter. A final delivery was made on Friday. The shelter workers greeted us warmly and we had a joyful conversation about the work of The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association and the meaning of the “Be Vegan Make Peace” stickers. This was a beautiful way to culminate our work in Springfield, where approximately 80 blankets were distributed. One team member requested more blankets to share with the homeless on the streets.
On December 19, another team of our Association members met late in the evening to distribute blankets in Boston. They were able to locate many homeless people in the downtown area. The team separated into two groups, with one working in Boston Common and the other in the South Station area. The next day, the team took blankets to the Waltham Main Homeless Shelter located in a nearby town. While distributing approximately 300 blankets, the Boston team members felt Supreme Master Ching Hai’s love and grace every step of the way and were deeply blessed and honored to have served God’s children.
Two days before Christmas, our Association members from different towns came together to wrap and bag approximately 100 more blankets and 100 pairs of socks to distribute to the homeless in their areas. Supreme Master Ching Hai’s gifts were also distributed in the nearby states of Rhode Island and Connecticut. We would again like to deeply thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her boundless love, and for giving us the opportunity to share God’s love and blessings with the less fortunate.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association
for Cold Weather Relief Work in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
|80 Pairs of Thermal Socks||108.00||F|
Throughout the relief operation, the team members paid for their own transportation.