Buddhist Relief Service Reaches Out to Santa Cruz County

June 22, 2008

Author: Melissa Weaver

Source: The Buddhist Channel/San Jose Mercury


Tzu Chi disaster relief volunteers always bow in respect when handing blankets to disaster victims, who "teach us to appreciate what we have," said volunteer Sherry Shih.

The Buddhist nonprofit group has grown to more than 5 million supporters worldwide with chapters in 30 countries since its inception in Taiwan 42 years ago. With almost 10,000 supporters in the San Francisco Bay Area, the organization is looking for volunteers in Santa Cruz to establish a local chapter.

Relief efforts for people who suffered damages in the Martin Fire are also in the works. Paul Chu, the emergency response director, said that they work closely with the Red Cross, and Tzu Chi is waiting for that organization to refer families who need assistance to them. Since the Summit Fire, Tzu Chi has been working with nine families who have lost their homes. The organization has distributed $4,300 to them for rebuilding efforts.