Each immigrant community faces its own challenges, which we seek to ease in any way we can. And while we serve their needs and offer support, we also create lasting connections.
In Houston, our volunteers have a flourishing relationship with the Vietnamese community, which in turn has been truly supportive of our missions. When we conduct street fundraising, the Vietnamese community gathers the most donations. Some members of the community also volunteer to help when we prepare charity food baskets for distribution monthly.
During our 2016 flood disaster relief mission in Louisiana, the relationship between Tzu Chi USA and the Vietnamese-American community was further strengthened.
Many Vietnamese-Americans in Baton Rouge are financially disadvantaged, and tragically, some of their neighborhoods were severely affected by the flood. We made sure to bring relief as quickly as possible, providing cash-cards and offering comfort at a Buddhist temple in the area. The moral support made a world of difference, especially when some had lost everything once before, after Hurricane Katrina. Thankfully our relief helped spark hope in this underprivileged community, where many were coping with tragedy.
Our relationship with the Vietnamese-American community is evolving daily, and has caught the attention of the Vietnamese media. Forging connections with underserved populations is vital, and we will follow our hearts and establish then nourish such links with other immigrant and disadvantaged groups.