FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tzu Chi volunteers are providing translation services and support to families impacted by a mass shooting that took eleven lives and injured nine more in Monterey Park, CA.
Monterey Park, CA, January 25, 2023—In light of a mass shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, which resulted in the deaths of eleven people and injured nine others on January 21, 2023 (the eve of the Lunar New Year), the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation (also known as Tzu Chi USA), expresses its extreme shock and grief. We share our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies for the families reeling from this tragedy. At the same time, we are committed to help.
Beginning as early as dawn on January 22, Tzu Chi USA volunteers began communications with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, CA, exchanging information on the unfolding situation. At the request of the Los Angeles Police Department, we deployed a small group of volunteers to the Family Information Center (FIC), set up by the State of California in response to this situation. Tzu Chi volunteers provided crucial on-site services such as real-time translation, communicating important information with families of the victims in both Mandarin and Cantonese. At least five volunteers remain on duty at the FIC to provide further linguistic help. On January 24, Tzu Chi USA was called upon again for its translation services, this time by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to translate personal information, understand families’ needs and link them to government resources.
Tzu Chi USA was also called upon to assist two Taiwanese expatriates, and one local Hong Kong resident. These three individuals will require financial assistance in their funeral expenses, arrangements, and related matters. For those expenses that the families are unable to cover, Tzu Chi has committed to covering the rest as well as guide families through the complex procedures of funeral and burial services.
Aside from these services, in addition to providing spiritual and emotional comfort to the grieving families, Tzu Chi USA, in cooperation with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of Los Angeles, is helping facilitate the travel of victims’ relatives, who are currently located in Taiwan, to Los Angeles in handling these affairs.
Tzu Chi USA is committed to collaborating with fellow non-profit organizations as well as local government agencies, to provide accompaniment, counseling, and support to families at this difficult time.
The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is a global non-profit humanitarian organization founded in 1966 by a Buddhist nun named Dharma Master Cheng Yen in Taiwan. Its missions of medicine, charity, education, and humanistic culture have brought relief to 128 countries and counting. In 1989, Tzu Chi USA was established and now has 65 offices across the US. The heart of Tzu Chi is embedded in its name: in Chinese, “tzu” means compassion and “chi,” relief.