Tzu Chi volunteers gather in Moeur Park, Arizona, each week to provide cooked meals for individuals who are homeless in the area. Rain or shine, the tradition is a lasting one, indeed. Tzu Chi’s Phoenix office started the hot meal program in 2005, fourteen years ago to date. Volunteers cook two vegetarian dishes, as well as prepare desserts and fruits.
It was a cool day for our hot meal delivery, so volunteers also distributed eco-blankets, jackets, hats, and scarves, to ensure everyone would be able to keep warm as autumn nears
People donate food regularly, and over the years, more and more people have joined Tzu Chi’s volunteer family, too.
Gary is a student from Tzu Chi Academy. When he and his family discovered that Tzu Chi delivers hot meals to homeless individuals within the community, they soon joined our volunteer team. Nearly every single week, Gary, his parents, and his grandma — three generations — all don their signature Tzu Chi vests and lend their hands in aid.
Fifteen years ago, a homeless man donated $9 in honor of his seeing-eye dog, Cinnamon, and to this day, Tzu Chi volunteers still hold that interaction near and dear to their hearts as they carry out their regular distributions:
“Thank you for all you do. Your food nourished my spirit and body as well as my physical self. Keep up the good work.”
Through these regular meals, Tzu Chi volunteers know they bring not only nourishment to those who could use some help, but warmth, hope, and the unshakable knowledge that they are not alone.
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