Tzu Chi USA Relief Efforts: How We’ve Been Helping This Winter

By Anik Ghose, Dilber Shatursun, Ida Eva Zielinska

Students at a school in the impoverished community of Cité Soleil, in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, enjoy nutritious biscuits made from Tzu Chi’s Multi-Grain Powder. Photo/Keziah Jean


As historic cold fronts sweep a nation in partial lockdown, Tzu Chi volunteers warm hearts through the winter months by supporting students, the homeless, the hungry, and our neighbors in need.

Laptops for Students in California

COVID-19 has disrupted routines and livelihoods, causing anxiety and upheaval at home. School closures and the transition to remote learning is compounding the stress for children. For those who can’t afford a computer, the status quo is disastrous towards continuing their education. Tzu Chi volunteers in California made it a mission to give laptops to students from low-income and undocumented families. Photo/Judy Liao

Winter Wear for New Yorkers

Distributions of donated winter outerwear are a tradition at Tzu Chi USA. Here, a volunteer assists a care recipient in selecting a coat. Volunteers put a lot of care into making sure that each clothing item is in tip-top condition, then helping everyone choose the perfect one for them. Photo/Peter Lin

Giving Groceries in New Jersey

Tzu Chi USA’s food distributions, such as this one in New Jersey, are helping relieve food insecurity. They are more vital than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, “50 million people may face hunger in the U.S. – including more than 17 million children.” Photo/Wankang Wang

A Nourishing Staple for Schools in Hawaii

Tzu Chi’s Jing Si Instant Rice is popular in Hawaii, where many people are of Asian heritage, and rice is a favorite food staple in their households. Here, volunteers donate a supply to Nānākuli Elementary School in Honolulu County, where it went home with teachers, staff, and students through the school’s Grab ’n Go meals program. Photo/Allen Chung

Support for Individual Care Cases in Wisconsin

Offering consistent support to Tzu Chi USA’s individual care cases is close to heart for volunteers in all regions. Here, in advance of Christmas, a team from Tzu Chi Milwaukee visits Tracey Hassinger (left), who must take 20 medications daily to treat her condition. They bring her a toaster, bathrobe, groceries, and other presents. To express her gratitude for Tzu Chi’s continual care, Tracey gives the volunteers a painting she made for them. Photo/Meng-Chun Wang

Fresh Produce and a Veggie Message in Maryland

While providing fresh produce and food staples at distributions across the U.S., volunteers are promoting plant-based diets as a means of protecting health, preventing zoonotic diseases, and reversing climate change. A volunteer holds up a sign advocating vegetarianism as a care recipient picks up food at Rosa L. Parks Elementary School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Photo/Wendy Tsai

Hot Meals and Cheer for the Homeless in Florida

Tzu Chi USA strives to leave no one behind, especially underserved groups. Days before Christmas, a team of volunteers in Florida delivers greeting cards alongside the hot food they brought for distribution to the homeless population receiving help at the Jubilee Center of South Broward in Hollywood, a beachfront community located midway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Photo/Judy Su

Food Distributions with Houston Food Bank in Texas

During the pandemic, many distributions proceed in a drive-through process to avoid large gatherings and minimize contact. As more and more people are suffering economic hardship, food distribution lines are growing long; hence, volunteers work fast to reduce the amount of time people must wait. At this event held in collaboration with Houston Food Bank, a team quickly loads food into care recipients’ cars. Photo/Jong Wu

Latest Issues

#72 | Spring 2024
#71 | Winter 2023
#70 | Fall 2023
#69 | Summer 2023
#68 | Spring 2023
#67 | Winter 2022