Tzu Chi Foundation, "The Buddhist Red Cross," Continues to Help Katrina Victims

August 26, 2006

Source: sgvtribune

On August 26, 2006 sgvtribune reported, "After Hurricane Katrina drowned and devastated the Gulf Coast, Kevin Minor's car wouldn't drive in reverse and stopped running once he'd gotten his family to Los Angeles. Now he feels the same way, as his family scrapes by on the income of his wife, Katrina Roberson, but unable to save enough money to return to his native Louisiana. Alongside other survivors relocated to California in the diaspora following Katrina - the hurricane, not the wife - Minor and his family reflected on the disaster at a vigil and resource fair hosted by the Tzu Chi Foundation, a global humanitarian organization. Founded in Taiwan 40 years ago, Tzu Chi is a Buddhist equivalent to the American Red Cross. Its North America headquarters down a winding road in San Dimas in a sprawling complex of Spanish-style buildings, the site of Cal Poly Pomona's old Voorhis Campus. Calvin Hsi, who directs the group's charitable operations, said he was struck by what he saw during relief efforts. 'To see so many helpless people ... it's hard to imagine in the United States, with so much wealth,' he said. 'It's hard to see that.' As part of its humanitarian mission, Tzu Chi doesn't conduct large-scale deployments of personnel, but instead counts on a network of blue-uniformed volunteers around the world. After Katrina, Tzu Chi gave more than $5 million to more than 60,0000 evacuees, provided medical and dental services, and provided material assistance to shelters housing evacuees. Locally, its volunteers mobilize for lesser disasters as well, such as the 2003 wildfires and subsequent flooding in Azusa Canyon."