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Home Global Activities America Tzu Chi Inspires Haitians, Helps 2,000 Earthquake-hit Families

Tzu Chi Inspires Haitians, Helps 2,000 Earthquake-hit Families

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The generosity of the Tzu Chi Foundation in Haiti inspired the vice president of a local food products company to help the survivors of the island’s terrible earthquake on August 14. Together, on September 10, they distributed two bags of precious supplies to 2,000 families.

“I want you (Tzu Chi) to know that it is an honor to me to accompany you on this journey and you can count on me to continue to serve the people in Haiti with you,” said Dashka Bennett, Vice President of Gigi Depot, a food products distributor in Port-au-Prince. The Foundation has partnered with her company for disaster relief in Haiti. Moved by Tzu Chi volunteers’ Great Love, she started to help Tzu Chi’s relief work there.

What items did Gigi Depot help Tzu Chi prepare for the quake survivors? She created two large and thoughtfully prepared packages -- everything was useful and essential. The main items were food, including cooking oil, shredded corn, beans, macaroni, spaghetti, and rice.

Gigi Depot also seized the opportunity to form a good affinity with quake-affected families. In the packages, there were three items which it donated -- seasonings, salt, and, most important, Aquatabs water purification tablets. It is not easy for Haitians to obtain Aquatabs. But this time Gigi Depot donated 20 pills for each family; this translates into 100 gallons of clean drinking water. The firm is really generous and thoughtful.

With Gigi Depot’s help, the Tzu Chi Haiti Earthquake Response team carried out the distribution on September 10 to 2,000 families hit by the earthquake. Each family, of six to eight people, received two bags of supplies, weighing 37.4 kg (or nearly 83 lbs.).

To pack the aid materials in bags in the warehouse is one thing; to deliver them to the disaster area is another. Southern Haiti is in a very difficult situation because the main streets are blocked by gangs; as a result, many trucks carrying food could not arrive. Before the gangs ceased their action against the government, Dashka Bennett was worried: “I’m hoping we can delivery everything safely and the trucks can get there. We’re doing the best we can.”

Inspired by Tzu Chi volunteers, Dashka Bennett really wants to do more for her country. She said: “You guys are all foreign and you’re doing so much for my country that it motivated even me to do more for my country. You know I try to do what I can within my sector. You Tzu Chi really touched me because you guys can leave your home in your country and your jobs and come do all this to help here. I who am here should be able to do more.”

She added: “Home is home. No matter how bad it gets. I don’t know any other home. This is my home. These are my people. So I have nowhere else to go. I was raised here, this is our home. We need to wait it out and pray for the best and make a difference while we’re here.”

After a major earthquake struck Haiti on August 14, Tzu Chi volunteers traveled a long way from the U.S. to Haiti and have worked tirelessly since September 1st. They were not afraid of unrest. Even when they felt fearful, they stayed there to help those suffering, in order to complete the aid distribution. There is much poverty and suffering in Haiti. Tzu Chi volunteers do their best to inspire its people there -- Dashka Bennett is one of those they have touched.

There will be more distributions in October. Dashka Bennett promised to fully support them in preparing the supplies. Tzu Chi’s food packages aim to feed 14,000 families for up to four weeks. As of September 16, they had distributed the packages to 6,250 families in Les Cayes. To bring happiness to the world relies on humans. The kind of life that our world truly needs is for people to be kindhearted and have a peaceful heart.


 
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