The Story of Shirley, Ridge & Patricia Lipovac: Love From Strangers

Northwest  |  April 17, 2019

Granny Shirley Lipovac, her son Ridge Lipovac and his wife Patricia Lipovac are all from the town of Paradise. They lost everything and had their lives turned upside down in November’s Camp Fire. 

And yet they consider themselves very lucky. A friend of Ridge’s friend offered the family a fully furnished house to stay in, free of charge, after the fire. They also received fast food gift certificates and a decorated Christmas tree!

Sharing with people in need has always been important to me

this generous stranger explained to the Lipovacs.

Dharma Master Cheng Yen and Tzu Chi volunteers all over the world feel exactly the same way. They have been comforting people, offering them happiness, and giving selflessly along with their heartfelt compassion for over 50 years.

The Lipovacs were surprised to learn that Tzu Chi volunteers pay all of their personal expenses out of their own pockets when they go out on a mission. The volunteer helping the Lipovacs told them, “I paid for my own flight ticket from Texas and for hotel accommodations here.” 

Hearing this inspired the Lipovacs to begin sharing all that they learned about Tzu Chi and its volunteers’ boundless benevolence and love for others.

Granny Shirley had been warming my hands with hers since we started our conversation. From Granny Shirley and her family’s joyful expressions, I think I might have also warmed their hearts.


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