Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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New Zealand - Great Love Flowing Around the World

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The Auckland Chinese Community Center held its annual Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day on January 17. Lu Yao-hua (呂耀華), chairman of the community center, had paid a visit to the local Tzu Chi office last year. He knew that Tzu Chi had been engaged in environmental protection for many years, and so he invited its volunteers to promote their cause at the festival venue this year.

The site bustled with noise and activity on the day of the festival. In addition to a booth, Tzu Chi set up three recycling spots, which were staffed by volunteers and members of the Tzu Chi Collegiate Association. They explained to festival attendees the importance of garbage sorting and recycling.

At the Tzu Chi booth, people asked the volunteers how to join Tzu Chi, and some asked how to sign their children up for the Tzu Chi Chinese class. An anthropology lecturer from the University of Auckland told the volunteers in fluent Chinese that he had visited Taiwan many times, and he was greatly impressed by Tzu Chi’s recycling efforts. An American showed the volunteers his Red Cross certificate. He said that he was a registered nurse and he loved helping people like the volunteers. He said that he would find time to visit the branch office to learn more about Tzu Chi.

A Filipino woman took many pictures of the Tzu Chi flags and posters. She said that she had received surgery from some Tzu Chi doctors in the Philippines, and the warm care given by the doctors and volunteers left a deep impression on her. She was more than glad to run into Tzu Chi volunteers in another country. Overjoyed, she asked the volunteers to pose with her for a picture.

Some volunteers wove between the booths and picked up garbage. The day was hot and they sweated heavily from the effort, but they were happy to help keep the environment clean. They hoped their example would inspire others to care more for our environment.

Source: Tzu Chi Quarterly Spring 2009