This year was a tragic one for many across the US and around the world as disasters struck, bringing tremendous destruction, and turning lives upside down… but it was also one of immense hope. Take a glimpse into this journey of healing and growth throughout 2018.
#1 HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 25, 2018
Our first image brings us to Houston, Texas, where we held the closing ceremony for our annual Spiritual Retreat! Attendees had the opportunity to connect with fellow Tzu Chi volunteers from all across the USA and beyond for a weekend of interactive workshops, discussions, and presentations that explored what it means to build a Bodhisattva family, and transform oneself and their communities through peace.
#2 PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - MAY 28, 2018
Our rice distributions in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, this past Spring provided 40,000 bags of rice to 40,692 Haitian families – that’s an astounding 400 tons! Throughout this charity mission in Haiti, we witnessed the true resilience and strength of heart that the people of Haiti possess. However, hunger is still a prevalent issue for many – and especially for young students. By providing our rice distributions and sincere support, we can strive to empower those who need a helping hand, and endeavor to ensure students can succeed.
#3 SAN DIMAS, CALIFORNIA - JULY 12, 2018
Our annual Summer Camp enhances children’s interpersonal skills through fun, interactive group activities while helping them build good character, develop self–esteem, and acquire self-management skills for life!
#4 TLAQUILTENANGO, MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 2, 2018
Our medical relief mission in Mexico served over 1,600 patients in a single weekend. The smiles of those who’d gone without proper care for too long were rediscovered once more as wounds and aches were attended to, and lives were changed through the knowledge that they are not alone.
#5 PUERTO RICO - SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
From September 13th to the 15th, we distributed 3,000 portable solar-powered LED light bulbs to the residents of San Juan, Bayamón, Comerío, Orocovis, and Jayuya after Hurricane Maria brought horrific destruction to Puerto Rico, leaving residents to pick up the pieces of their lives without power or other basic needs. These light bulbs use approximately 25%-85% less energy than traditional incandescents, and last longer as well, giving impacted residents an immediate, long-term, and cost-saving solution for electrical necessities.
#6 CANOA, ECUADOR - OCTOBER 19, 2018
Our volunteer training and home visits in Canoa, Ecuador, brought a deep sense of solidarity and unity of hearts as local Tzu Chi volunteers aided their communities, and uncovered the common thread of great love that ties us all together as one global family.
#7 HURRICANE FLORENCE, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 27, 2018
When Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina on September 14th, bringing with it catastrophic floods that destroyed thousands of homes, and left some 500,000 homes and businesses without power, Tzu Chi volunteers readily extended their hands in aid. During the weekend of October 27th to the 28th, a total of $261,500 in financial assistance was provided to 578 families in New Bern and Lumberton.
#8 HURRICANE MICHAEL, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 31, 2018
Nothing could quite prepare the residents of Florida for the havoc that Hurricane Michael wreaked on their homes. With some areas being wholly devitalized, residents were in dire need of emergency assistance. Through our distributions, however, we provided $376,000 in crucial aid which directly benefited 2,131 people, and helped them regain their footing.
#9 WOOLSEY FIRE, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28, 2018
The Woolsey fire was sparked on November 8th, quickly and ferociously consuming 96,949 acres in California’s Los Angeles County and Ventura County. Tzu Chi volunteers quickly mobilized, distributing emergency supplies which included eco-friendly blankets, as well as an attentive ear.
#10 CAMP FIRE, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 7, 2018
This year has been a difficult one for California residents, the most dangerous wildfires in state history ravaging the land and destroying homes once filled with fond memories. We began the Hope Heals campaign to provide immediate cash relief to families affected by the Camp Fire by raising donations from 10,000 people, which would directly fund cash cards for 10,000 Camp Fire survivors before Christmas.