San Antonio Tornado Response

Midwest  |  March 7, 2017

On Saturday, February 25, our volunteers mobilized to prepare a disaster relief distribution for residents affected by the tornadoes. Families assembled at  St. Anthony of Padua Church, each receiving a blanket, cash card, and a compassionate ear as tornado survivors shared their concerns, and their stories.

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Tzu Chi volunteers also reached out to several tornado survivors, and visited their homes. We met with Emma, whose roof was completely destroyed by the raging storm, and provided disaster relief funds for her and her family. Emma and her family have now begun to make repairs to their home, and with construction materials piled up outside, they were glad volunteers were there to lend a helping hand as well.

One volunteer recounted the origins of Tzu Chi, and how the bamboo bank came to be. The foundation began with saving only a few pennies per day, and eventually evolved into an international charity organization, proving that no matter the amount, love can have the capacity to bring about a far-reaching change for good. The family was touched, and before the volunteer left, Emma’s son added his own coins to their bamboo bank, wishing that he could help others in need as well.

Tornado survivors, Brenda Cortes & Ruth Nunez, were also elated to receive a disaster relief cash card from Tzu Chi. Ruth graciously accepted her card, and hugged volunteers with earnest thanks.

Because he is an undocumented immigrant, Jose Cruz, whose home suffered severe damages after the tornado, was hesitant to accept help from volunteers when they first contacted him. Due to the current tenuous political climate, he expressed worries of being deported, but after our volunteers’ adamant effort and explanations of their intentions solely as providing disaster relief for him, he finally acceded, and gratefully accepted a cash card.

We hope to be able to to assuage the anxieties and obstacles caused by this disaster, and will continue to aid those in need, so that residents may be able to surmount them, and continue to staunchly persevere through.


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