Tzu Chi’s Greater Washington DC Volunteers Join the Community for Relief Following Maryland Apartment Explosion

Greater Washington D.C.  |  April 8, 2022
Tzu Chi USA’s Greater Washington DC Region volunteers join hands with the Montgomery County Government to provide relief for 39 families. Photo/Wendy Tsai

Translated by H.B. Qin
Edited by Adriana DiBenedetto

On Thursday, March 3, 2022, a gas explosion and two-alarm fire injured at least 14 people and displaced over 200 community residents in Silver Spring, Maryland. Due to the significant damages, three of six buildings in the Friendly Garden Apartment complex have been declared unsafe to occupy. Mobilizing swiftly, Tzu Chi USA’s Greater Washington DC Region volunteers joined hands with the Montgomery County Government to provide direct relief for 39 families.

Tzu Chi volunteers speak with residents in person to learn about their needs. Photo/Wendy Tsai

In September of 2021, Tzu Chi volunteers collaborated with the local government to provide aid for households impacted by Hurricane Ida in Montgomery County. With this, volunteers were again invited to help survivors. 

“A few days after the explosion, the residents of the three buildings have returned,” explained Patrick Campbell, an Emergency Management Professional with the Montgomery County Government. “At present, there are still about 125 people who have nowhere to go. They need long-term housing assistance and some living materials.”

For the second time within a year, Tzu Chi USA’s Greater Washington DC Region joins the Montgomery County Government to carry out disaster relief efforts. Eleven Tzu Chi volunteers participate in the distribution. Photo/Wendy Tsai

Eleven Tzu Chi volunteers participated in this distribution with the utmost care. Volunteers provided pantry staples, clothing, helped families with paperwork, and offered an attentive ear as survivors shared their experiences.

Tzu Chi volunteers provide not only essential supplies but their genuine love and care. Photo/Wendy Tsai

“I like the way Tzu Chi Foundation operates. They have in-person talks with residents. They create a warm atmosphere, not just through giving relief funds but humanitarian care,” expressed Patrick Campbell. “So we are very grateful to Tzu Chi for being here, and to all the volunteers who participated in this distribution as the community prepares to recover.”

“Today we were to do a simple distribution,” said Chiali Tsai, a Tzu Chi volunteer, “but because of our past compassionate works and the fact that we have so many volunteers, the organizer gave us a whole room so we can comfort residents.”

Tzu Chi volunteers not only provide emergency supplies but an attentive ear. Photo/Wendy Tsai

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