Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

May 30th
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Tzu Chi Volunteers in Beijing

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Most of the Tzu Chi volunteers in Beijing are businesspeople from Taiwan or local residents, and most of them have day jobs. They participate in Tzu Chi activities on their own time and expense.
For several months before the event in Laiyuan, they made several trips to the county to prepare for the large-scale distribution for 7,600 people in 3,756 families. The volunteers often left for Laiyuan at four in the morning and returned to Beijing late at night. They visited and briefed government officials and village leaders on the details of the distribution, and they negotiated with the flour supplier on quality specifications and delivery schedules. They also took the opportunity to assess aid applications, give scholarships to students, and take some villagers to the hospital or arrange for them to get medical service.
Volunteer Zeng Yun-ji (曾雲姬) said, “We come to Beijing to work, and our parents aren’t with us. Therefore, we have long treated the elderly in Laiyuan as our own parents, and we care for them accordingly.”
Aside from Laiyuan, Beijing volunteers also help out elsewhere. They have been making zong-zi (a pyramid-shaped mass of glutinous rice wrapped in leaves) to raise charity funds since 1999. Among projects that they have been involved in: putting children through school in Guizhou Province, helping victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and helping build cisterns in chronically drought-stricken Gansu Province, for which they have so far raised enough money to build two thousand cisterns. After the 2003 quake in Xinjiang Province, they sold food items and solicited monetary donations from businesses from Taiwan and other countries operating in Beijing to help rebuild two schools.
In March 2008, Tzu Chi became the first foundation to be licensed in China in which a non-mainland Chinese resident serves as the legal representative.

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