The Tzu Chi Foundation celebrated the Lunar New Year February 6, 2010 with a look back on the charitable works they have performed and forward to the tasks and places of need for the coming year. The local Tzu Chi facility is located in its new home in Highland Heights and is part of the Midwest Region of this international foundation.
Tzu Chi is an international charitable foundation guided by the principles of Buddhism. The four main tenets of this philosophy are kindness, compassion, joy and giving. The organization was founded in 1966 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen, in Taiwan.
Banner of Dharma Master Cheng Yen
After a visit to a local hospital in which she discovered deplorable conditions, especially for the poor, Master Cheng Yen decided to do something. Tzu Chi roughly translates to "compassionate giving" and it was this thought that guided her as she formed the organization. In the beginning there were only 30 women, all local housewives, participating. They gave two cents a day from their families' grocery money to help the less fortunate in their community.
Vivien Liu, Director and Hsiao-Ping 'Cathy' Chen
From that humble beginning Tzu Chi has grown to include over 5 million members with offices in 47 countries. The first United States office was opened in Los Angeles in 1989.
Their service is based on four areas; Charity, Education, Medicine and Cultural. Currently hundreds of Tzu Chi volunteers are in, or on their way to Haiti to offer humanitarian assistance much as they did in Taiwan, Manila, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Washington State, Pittsburgh and many more places.
They have the largest bone marrow registry in the world, have built hospitals and schools in underprivileged areas, provided supplies ranging from medicine to books to clothes to food (and more) around the world and have done so as a volunteer-based organization.
Hing and Margaret Chin with Lana Den
They are a kind, gentle group of people who welcomed me into their celebration with open arms. Simple affirmations such as:
- "Love begets harmony"
- "Let propriety be your guide"
- "A good word can change one's life forever"
- "Accumulate virtues and good credits to offset bad karma"
can truly make a difference in the world.
They believe that it takes many grains of rice to make a bushel and want to be part of that bushel.
Michelle Morse, Injazz Chen and Vivien Liu
For more information on the group visit their website or call them at 440-646-9292. Scenes from the Tzu Chi Lunar New Year Celebration
Tzu Chi Regional Director from Chicago
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