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Feb 23rd
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Home Our Missions Mission of Charity Tzu Chi Delivers Winter Aid to Thousands Across China - Fujian

Tzu Chi Delivers Winter Aid to Thousands Across China - Fujian

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Tzu Chi Delivers Winter Aid to Thousands Across China
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The Tzu Chi spirit takes root in Fuding
Before people arrived to receive the goods, the volunteers prepared hot tea and bread to help them fight the cold weather. Some walked a long way. They also made ready tubs of petroleum jelly, which people used to rub their hands and make their cracked skin soft and supple. One care recipient even donated a basket of fresh mountain produce. “One elderly man bought taro and pumpkin from the mountain,” said volunteer Xu Xuezhi. “He said that he wanted to give them to us. We told him we were very grateful. He said that it was a small gesture on his part, so we can see the villagers here are very blessed and also know how to count their blessings.”

One man always turned his head to one side, because the right half of his face is disfigured by a tumor. When the doctors saw something that needed treatment, they stepped forward. One woman had severely deformed ankles. One Taiwan doctor knelt before her to see what could be done. “This needs an x-ray, a check to see how the joints are moving and a nerve test,” said one volunteer. “These three things need to be done.” They also conducted home visits. During one of them, they met a 33-year-old man who shook uncontrollably and could not stand up without help; he needs medication to control his condition. He is a dedicated reader, which gives him a window on the world and an outlet for his mind. “You are wonderful,” said one of the visiting volunteers. “You sit here and study all the time. We all need to learn from you. I am too lazy to read. When I go home, I will have to change my ways and should read more books.”

The visiting volunteers feel a deep affinity with Fuding and its kind-hearted people. One of them, Xu Xuezhi. said that, during the three days of distribution, he had seen the thorough preparation work done by the local volunteers. “It helped us 20 or so volunteers from Taiwan to get on board very quickly. So, first and foremost, they did a very thorough job.” Chen Ziyong, superintendent of the Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, also praised the local volunteers for their organization. “For our part, I think we provide back-up and support.”

In addition to this large-scale distribution in urban areas of Fuding, the volunteers also provided care to people in mountainous districts. It is one of the ten largest tea-producing cities in China; the mountain areas are full of lush tea plantations that are the economic base of the city. But not everyone shares in the prosperity of the tea industry. The volunteers made a special journey to the village of Jiaodang in Jiayang township and the home of 74-year-old Zheng Jiliang, which is a simple house made of rocks and thatch. He first came to their attention at a free clinic in 2005, when they discovered that he had injured his right eye while working; without proper treatment and no-one to care for him at home, his condition has worsened. When he attended a free clinic in 2008 jointly held by Tzu Chi and the Fuding Hospital, the volunteers found that, in addition, he had skin cancer; they put him on their long-term care list.

Reaching Zheng’s home was a major journey. Since there is no access by road, the volunteers had to walk up a rocky trail, carrying the tools and building materials they were to use. During the hike, conversations died down, to be replaced by a shortness of breath. Their mission was to replace Zheng’s decrepit roof. They removed the layers of grass, waterproof matting and fraying tarpaulin and soon stripped the roof bare. Seeing their work, villagers came to help. Next, they cut and fashioned bamboo stalks – harvested only a stone’s throw from house – to fortify the frame of the roof. The villagers are adept at this work; when they saw a cut, they patched it quickly and put it in place. Then they placed back the tarpaulin and a second layer of covering that is more water-proof. The two sheets were then fixed with bamboo slats – a necessary step to strengthen the roof against typhoons. What was left of the tarpaulin was used to insulate the house from the cold. While some volunteers repaired the roof, other tidied his house. The old man sat on the side, enjoying the milk and bread volunteers had brought for him. When he walked back into his renovated house, he was moved and could not find the words to express his gratitude. The love from volunteers and his neighbors was a heartwarming re-assurance of the support he can draw up in his solitary life.

Master Cheng Yen feels especially close to the doctors and nurses of the Fuding Hospital, who have taken to heart her ideals and practices, treating the spirit as well as the body of their patients. “When I see them, I feel that they are not far and our hearts are joined together,” she said in her morning talk in Hualien on February 19. “On the first day of the Chinese New Year, the doctors and nurses gave fruit to the patients and their family members and asked warmly about them. The local volunteers are like those in Taiwan, visiting each nursing desk to show their concern for the staff. The medical care and humanity of the Fuding Hospital never falters for a moment, in saving life and protecting health and protecting love.”



 

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