About The Greater Washington D.C. Region
Greater Washington D.C. Region Office
Tzu Chi’s first Greater Washington D.C. area office was established in 1994. By 2008 we were able to purchase a church in neighboring Reston, VA, that became our Region Office for the area. Here our main focus is on Hurricane Florence disaster assessment and distribution.
Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina
The city of Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States and there’s no better place for Tzu Chi to have its region office then here. The region we cover from here to South Carolina has lately seen a great influx of immigrants. Because of this, it is no accident that our regional office is nearby in the suburbs of this important and influential city allowing us to do compassionate work for those needing us most.
It was housewife Chang Lee-See-Hsien who relocated to the U.S. from Hualien who had been one of Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s first group of housewives that came together to collect funds for charitable good deeds back in 1966.
Years later when she came to the D.C. area in 1989, she inspired a new generation of volunteers and it has left an important legacy. Clara Cheng, the region’s former executive director, and Hsien’s daughter-in-law, said that Hsien always spread the word about Tzu Chi, which is how it all began in the region.
Our volunteers here do a lot of work to help the homeless in the Washington, D.C. area where 1-in-5 people live below the poverty line. We work with businesses in the area that not only donate food but also money to help the homeless. Instead of dumping their leftovers, they gather leftover baked goods to provide a breakfast for the homeless. Our dedicated, caring volunteers also make stops to visit nursing homes while our musical volunteers play for the residents to help bring the seniors a sense of joy.
Disaster Relief Following Hurricane Florence
So many disasters have been hitting different parts of the U.S. lately, and Hurricane Florence was one of the worst disasters for people on the Carolina coast. Our volunteers were in North Carolina working closely with the American Red Cross and local fire departments to determine the impact and the most urgent needs in the area.
The subsequent flood waters were everywhere, buildings destroyed, roads washed out, dams broken, lakes overflowing. At first during assessment we brought water and food for the people who were displaced and who had lost everything. We were also able to provide short-term financial help to those who needed it most.
Families and those with children were emotionally drained and unsure of the future, so we provided not only food and water but also an ear to listen to them so that they did not feel alone. Others received cash cards to help them bridge the gap until they can figure out their next plan. Others saw that they, too, wanted to join us to volunteer and provide compassion to those who temporarily lost everything. It was better to volunteer than to just sit around waiting, they said.
We were able to be an inspiration for other volunteers to join us as well as hope for those who felt lost. It was our honor to help these vulnerable people who expressed their gratitude as we in turn were grateful to be able to help them in their time of need.
1516 Moorings Dr
Reston, VA 20190
4527 Dwight Evans Rd
Charlotte, NC 28217
1318 Tomahawk Creek Road
Midlothian, Virginia 23114