For each American Tzu Chi volunteer that is serving the international community, there are thousands of volunteers working in their communities, undertaking charity projects to alleviate the suffering of those in need. Through it’s various chapters in the US, Tzu Chi is transforming communities through its work in providing hot meals for homeless, happy campus program, winter food distributions, winter jacket distributions, scholarship programs, emergency disaster relief training, home fire preparedness campaign, and partnering with other organizations. Below you will find brief descriptions and links to the work that Tzu Chi has been doing for the past 25 years in the United States.
Global Care Program
Tzu Chi engages in charitable missions around the world, providing aid and relief to the most vulnerable, from disaster survivors and refugees to indigent and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, strengthening local capacity through community development, provision of basic human needs, education, and volunteerism. This work is through multi-sectoral partnerships and collaboration that such a cause may be fought. To further expand our reaches, develop partnerships, and spread Tzu Chi’s message and spirt, advocacy and outreach, especially on the global stage is necessary, and to do so, engaging international coalitions such as the United Nations and becoming members of these coalitions—InterAction, ECOSOC, ICVA, NVOAD—is imperative.
Providing relief to those who are suffering remains the greatest mission of the Tzu Chi Foundation, and few suffer more greatly than disaster survivors. Over the years, Tzu Chi has been providing disaster relief to survivors of devastating disasters around the world. From the 2012 Hurricane Sandy that flooded the East coast of the United States to the recent 2015 earthquake that crumbled the monuments of Nepal, Tzu Chi volunteers were there to provide comfort and much needed survival supplies, including eco-blankets, dehydrated rice, portable beds, emergency relief kits, and many others in order to provide the disaster-affected the first step towards recovery. Together with the American Red Cross, Tzu Chi educates the community on disaster preparation and CPR training.
The Tzu Chi Family Care program provides financial, emotional, spiritual support as well as emergency aid for families in times of need. Every year, volunteers engage in various community outreach activities. From monthly home visitations- such as those to the Ronald McDonald House, to assistance for families facing food and clothing insecurity, programs providing financial and emotional support for refugee families, and counseling to local college students, volunteers assist up to two thousand families in the U.S. every year. Specifically in 2014, volunteers served a total of more than 1,200 families, in which 695 received long-term support. In some cases, this long-term care can continue for more than 10 years.
Creating opportunities for those in need, Tzu Chi works within the community to empower individuals to pursue a better education. From the early elementary school age all the way to the college aged students, Tzu Chi impacts their lives through programs like Happy Campus and Scholarship distributions. In addition, through the lens of education, Tzu Chi volunteers are able to assist communities through practical job training, and tax filing assistance. Finally, with the spirit of leaving no one behind, Tzu Chi empowers those imprisoned by society to pursue a better life, visiting them in their time of need.
Engrained within each Tzu Chi chapter, is the community that it serves. Without the community, there is no Tzu Chi. Giving back to those they serve, Tzu Chi volunteers around the world spend extraordinary amounts of effort taking care of those in need in their local communities. Whether it is reaching out to homeless individuals, directing them towards a better path, or feeding those who are hungry at local food banks, Tzu Chi partners with community organizations to care for everyone. Promoting vegetarian lifestyles, Tzu Chi seeks to make the community more conscious and aware, cultivating more compassion and love.