Written by Jennifer Chien
Translated by Haibiao Qin
Edited by Andrea Barkley
The Tzu Chi Annual Community Weekend took place on April 8 and 9, 2023, during which members of the Tzu Chi Collegiate Association (TCCA, also called Tzu Ching) at the University of California, Irvine, actively participated in farm harvesting activities organized by the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Stepping out of the classroom and laboratory, they ventured into the farm to experience food cultivation and harvest challenges. By harvesting fresh vegetables on the same day, they provided local families in need with the freshest produce for their tables.
Unite and Serve Together
This volunteer initiative, the National Tzu Chi Youth Community Weekend, launched by the Tzu Chi USA Headquarters’ Young Leaders program, received an overwhelming response. During the April 8 and 9 weekend, 16 Tzu Ching associations donned special T-shirts with the slogan “Unite and Serve Together” as they engaged in 13 diverse service activities, translating their care for the community into tangible actions.
The event gave volunteers a unique opportunity to directly serve on the farm – an uncommon experience in most community service activities. Xuebin Lin, President of Tzu Ching UC Irvine, expressed, “When we were discussing which activity to pursue for this year’s Community Weekend, we unanimously agreed that this farm activity was truly special.” On this occasion, Tzu Chings harvested broccoli seedlings and cabbage to support local families needing food.
A Day of Multiple Harvestsr
The shy yet smiling young Tzu Chings cut ripe cabbages skillfully with their scythes. Then, they formed a line, checking each row for missed cabbages hidden among the leaves. Finally, they carefully passed them into the large cardboard boxes on the ridge. Even in vegetable harvesting, following a predetermined process highlighted the significance of teamwork. UC Irvine junior, Anthony Rodriguez, expressed his cheerful satisfaction, stating, “It was great to volunteer, and I felt a sense of accomplishment.”
“It’s been a fruitful day of harvesting. I believe we’ve collected over 2,500 pounds of cabbage, which will be donated to numerous shelters and food banks. We’ve done a remarkable job today,” shared Tzu Ching Juming Liu, feeling a profound sense of achievement.
The Tzu Chings warmly welcome college and university students to join the Tzu Chi Collegiate Association, inviting them to join the community and practice the shared ideal of promoting goodness. As Tzu Ching Jueming Liu expressed, “I’m glad to be able to help people this Easter weekend, and it’s wonderful to be outdoors in the sun.”