On July 18th, in the heatwave of the shining sun, Boston Tzu Chi volunteers came to the CMAA in Lowell, MA carrying the love and care from Master Cheng Yen and other masters. Working together, Boston Tzu Chi volunteers and Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association (CMAA) volunteers adopted the "Drive-Through" method and distributed 300 packages with instant rice, noodles, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Volunteers' loving greetings were as warm as the 90-degree temperature of the day.
The friendship between Tzu Chi Boston and CMAA dated back to four years ago through the distribution of winter clothes after a fire accident. Today, the two groups of volunteers reunited during the pandemic to continue their shared mission of selfless love for communities. Upon arrival at the CMAA building, Tzu Chi volunteers were greeted by the group of energetic young volunteers from Cambodia who were eager to contribute. Using their Cambodian and English bilingual language skills to communicate with local families, these young volunteers played a tremendous role in the distribution.
Tzu Chi volunteers also took advantage of this food distribution opportunity to promote the concept of vegetarianism. They explained to CAMM volunteers that being vegetarian is to care for lives and the earth. CAMM volunteers translated and communicated this message in Cambodian to local families, which was very well received. Many families agreed to support and join Tzu Chi's "Very Veggie Movement" campaign that promotes one vegetarian meal a day.
Some Cambodian Buddhist elders were excited to learn that Tzu Chi is a Buddhist organization, and they happily committed themselves to eating three vegetarian meals every day. These elderly closed their palms to express gratitude to the volunteers, expressing their great pleasure to meet people who shared their beliefs.
By the end of the distribution, Tzu Chi volunteers were surprised and moved that families who came to the event had together committed to eating a total of 10,560 vegetarian meals.
Tzu Chi volunteers were also deeply moved by the young, passionate CAMM volunteers, who were eager to serve and give back to their community and helped drive the success of the food distribution event. Their patience and sincerity have touched every Tzu Chi volunteer's heart. Volunteers from both organizations made a wish to reunite soon after the pandemic. A Tzu Chi volunteer shared that one CAMM volunteer went to take a picture with Master Cheng Yen's photo, wearing a big, familiar smile. Isn't this the best portrayal of Master Cheng Yen's words that we should grasp every opportunity to plant a good seed.
After the food distribution, Tzu Chi volunteers prayed to send kind thoughts and blessings to every corner of the world. The pandemic has allowed love to narrow the distance between people's hearts. After a long day of collaboration, companionship, and hard work under the sun, Tzu Chi volunteers ended the event with a group picture. Everyone was laughing happily and making a heart with their hands. Giving has brought the most intense joy to everyone.
In July, 2019, instant rice and noodles with love from Tzu Chi’s headquarters in Taiwan were shipped to New York Tzu Chi Office. This is the program called Tzu Chi food rescue plan amid Covid-19 following the medical supplies distribution.
On June 25th, Tzu Chi Boston volunteers transported instant rice and noodles to Boston from New York on the same day. Groceries bags including fresh produce and pantry staples were packed up on July 17th, and ready to distribute on July 18th at Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association(CMAA) in the City of Lowell. A total of 300 families in need will benefited from this food rescue plan amid the pandemic. At the same time, Tzu Chi volunteers encouraged people to go vegetarian with compassion for the earth.
On Saturday, July 18th, Tzu Chi Charity Volunteer Team gathered together at Tzu Chi Boston Office at 8AM. Volunteers headed to Lowell with all the food suppliers, after carefully reviewing the schedule of the day and exhorting each other with love.
Tzu Chi Volunteers arrived at CMAA in the City of Lowell at 9AM. Adhering to the precautions in place to safeguard the wellness of our valued beneficiaries, face masks or other facial coverings were additionally be required. Volunteers from CMAA and Tzu Chi worked together to unload boxes of food suppliers, build a display stand, and perform their own duties. With adequate preparation and arrangements upfront, the distribution started at 10am on time even with the tight schedule.
In total, 300 families received food supplies within the 3-hour food distribution from the Tzu Chi rescue food plan. At the same time, Tzu Chi volunteers promoted vegetarianism in response to Covid-19. Besides food suppliers, Tz u Chi also plans to provide financial aids for the people who are in need in the future.
Tzu Chi will continue to spread love and take actions to fight against the pandemic...
As the pandemic continues, Tzu Chi’s work will continue! Tzu Chi USA invites you to join us in the fundraiser for this outbre
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Mailing Address: Tzu Chi Foundation
15 Summer Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464
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