Tzu Chi USA Relief Efforts

By Sophie X. Song, Ida Eva Zielinska

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Providing Disaster Relief

On March 1, volunteers from Tzu Chi USA Northwest Region’s Fresno Service Center prepare to distribute supplies to Afghan families who have fled their war-torn homeland, helping them settle into a new life in the United States with peace of mind. Photo/Kelly Liu

On March 3, a gas explosion occurs in a four-story apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, destroying the building and impacting more than 300 residents. More than a week after the disaster, many remain homeless. In cooperation with the Montgomery County government, Tzu Chi USA Greater Washington D.C. Region volunteers distribute cash cards and blankets on March 9 to help the affected households get through this difficult period. Photo/Kelly Liu

On March 19, the Tzu Chi USA Southern Region office in Texas holds its second food distribution that month, benefiting 233 families. With the war in Ukraine displacing many, volunteers also fundraise to pass on the care recipients’ love to those suffering in that distant land. Photo/Jean Hsu

On March 21, multiple central and northern Texas counties are hit by thunderstorms and tornadoes, injuring several people and killing one. The storms also damage many homes and businesses and leave more than 40,000 people without power. On March 25 and 26, Tzu Chi USA Southern Region’s Austin Service Center volunteers distribute cash cards and blankets at the United Heritage Center in Round Rock to help those affected. Photo/Fangwen Huang

On March 21, a tornado hits Williamson County in Texas at night, causing damage in several cities, including Round Rock, Hutto, and Taylor. Tzu Chi USA Southern Region volunteers help disaster-stricken households get back on their feet in collaboration with other local relief organizations. Tzu Chi holds several distributions of emergency supplies by the end of March, which include giving each household a $1,000 cash card. Photo/Tzu-Pei Hsie

Promoting Vegetarianism

On March 4, Tzu Chi Education Foundation holds an event to promote vegetarianism among teachers and students of the Great Love Preschool in Walnut, California. The students get a delicious vegetarian lunch, developing greater compassion for all living creatures by not eating meat or fish. Photo/Shuli Lo

After two years of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, children who are part of the Northern California Tzu Chi Youth Group finally return to their classroom in San Jose on March 12 to cook vegetarian buns as their first in-person lesson. Photo/Mimi Chin

As the pandemic in the U.S. shows signs of abating and mask mandates drop, the Tzu Chi USA Headquarters team that promotes vegetarianism can finally visit the YMCA in Alhambra, California, on March 28. They showcase and let the kids there try vegetarian food. Over the past year, students could only watch vegetarian cooking online, so now that they can taste the food in person, they’re thrilled. Photo/Shuli Lo

Volunteers at the Tzu Chi USA Central Region Office in Texas restart their vegetarian cooking class on April 3 to let everyone know that preparing delicious and healthy vegetarian food isn’t difficult. In this their first class since the start of the pandemic, the team makes a vegetable vermicelli stew, a recipe that is easy for everyone to learn. Photo/Tzu Chi USA Central Region Office

Offering Medical Services

On March 27, Tzu Chi USA Northwest Region volunteers in California hold a one-day free clinic for low-income residents in Cupertino. Fifty-six medical professionals and service volunteers participate in the clinic to serve 30 people who made an appointment in advance. The free clinic provides services in dentistry, ophthalmology, general medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and chiropractic care. Photo/Andy Chiang

On April 8, the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation and Tzu Chi USA Headquarters’ Medical Development Office hold a free clinic for Tzu Chi volunteers at the South El Monte Health Center. The free clinic offers general medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, dentistry, and ophthalmology. Photo/Shuli Lo

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