My Fellow Brothers and Sisters,
We are all now witnessing the life-changing impact that COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, is having on our planet. In the United States alone, a national emergency has been declared and every single state has at least one confirmed case, with the largest clusters of the pandemic in New York, Washington, and California. Consequently, we are taking the following measures to ensure the safety of all our dedicated volunteers and those communities which we serve:
Canceled or postponed all Tzu Chi gatherings and events hosted by our regional and local offices, plus service centers, until further notice.
Canceled our charity programs until further notice.
Suspended all medical outreaches and mobile clinics in California till 3/31, or until further notice.
Closed Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool & Kindergartens in Dallas & Houston, TX, till 3/20, or until further notice , with a shift to self-learning packages and follow ups on learning progress.
Closed Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool & Kindergartens in Walnut & Monrovia, CA till 3/27, or until further notice, with a transition to self-learning packages and follow ups on learning progress. Closed Tzu Chi Elementary Schools in Walnut & Monrovia, CA, and have begun online learning with self-study and face-to-face video sessions.
Trained our volunteers, care recipients, and more on COVID-19 related public health measures and published public health information on tzuchi.us/coronavirus.
Scaling down operations at local offices as we respond to urgent/emergency needs.
Though these changes directly impact our initiatives in charity, medicine, education, and humanistic culture, this will not stop Tzu Chi USA’s mission to provide compassion and relief in the face of suffering. As a result, we are developing ways to provide community support that protects our volunteers as much as it protects our care recipients. To learn more about the changes happening in your region, visit tzuchi.us.
There are some simple things you can do, too:
Check-in on your loved ones, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, with a phone call
What’s more, many of us at Tzu Chi USA have already adopted some changes that carry deep meaning. At the urge of our founder, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, we have been following a song of universal prayer at 1:30 PM in every time zone. As we pause our day to listen to its words, we offer our own prayers, our sincerest wishes, and our goodwill for those who suffer. We truly hope you may join in wherever you are and pool positivity in solidarity.
Master Cheng Yen has also advised we all observe a vegetarian diet as we better understand the calamity zoonotic diseases (or those spread between animals and people) can cause. SARS and now the coronavirus disease both have links to animal sources, and if we may eliminate the need for animal products and animal farming, in the process we will protect innocent animals, improve our health, and reduce the impact we have on climate change, too. For more resources, please visit tzuchi.us/coronavirus.
Above all, our main objective is to provide compassion and relief in a safe, mindful way. We are vigilantly monitoring new developments across the country and around the world, as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information on the coronavirus disease and public safety guidelines, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
We thank you for your support and understanding as we have gone through thick and through thin together. As one family, let’s do our best to overcome this pandemic with care for one another, calm, and peace.
Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation