Following performances by Tzu Chi volunteers – who had brought their love to the world-renowned Lincoln Center stage during the first part of this 50th Anniversary charity concert, revealing the beauty and power of harmony and collaboration – it was time to introduce Tzu Chi’s disaster relief work in the USA and internationally to an audience of over 2,600 people eager to support humanitarian aid.
The impact of Tzu Chi’s aid after the historic floods in Louisiana in August, was brought to vivid life with a video that began by showed the tremendous damage caused by this catastrophe, which affected 11% of the state’s population. One aid recipient from Baton Rouge described his dire situation, and shared his most sincere gratitude for the cash card he received from Tzu Chi, stating that it was the first cause to be happyafter only despair.
The audience was amazed to learn that Tzu Chi distributed a total of $836,200 in direct aid after the flood, providing cash cards to those affected, allowing them to purchase the things they most need as they struggle to get back on their feet.
The hosts then invited everyone to help those in need right there and then. They presented Tzu Chi’s Text-A-Pledge phone app that allows people to donate instantly. The technology was first used to fundraise during the Louisiana aid mission, and this was a perfect moment to see it in action. Within seconds, one could see that people in the audience were following their heart and supporting Tzu Chi’s disaster relief missions, as their name and pledge appeared on the screen on stage
As the pledges were coming in, a video presented Tzu Chi’s Cash-For-Relief disaster aid after the earthquake in Ecuador in April, a program that provided $511,815 in aid, while creating 34,121 desperately needed temporary jobs.
To end the presentation about Tzu Chi’s disaster aid, a short PSA revealed the tragic situation unfolding in Haiti following Hurricane Matthewwhich hit 2 weeks before. The little girl sharing the purest of smiles at the end of the video epitomized the innocence of humanity in its hope for happiness in spite of recurring pain.
Tzu Chi’s assessment after this latest catastrophe is now over and a new wave of compassionate relief is about to begin, signaling the continual need of support for such humanitarian missions. This was the message sent to the audience, and it was well received, as donations kept coming in during the next half of the program which was spectacular beyond imagination.