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Event Date: 06/17/2011

Relieved and Reassured
ˇ·Reported by Aileen Huang

On May 23, a catastrophic tornado hit southern Missouri, killing over a hundred people and leaving many others injured. Tzu Chi mobilized a team of 64 volunteers to conduct relief assessments and distribute supplies to tornado victims throughout the damaged areas. On June 4, Tzu Chi Foundation’s Midwest division hosted a two-day distribution in Joplin, Missouri. Local representatives from the American Red Cross sought out Tzu Chi volunteers to organize and host relief efforts in certain areas. Tzu Chi volunteers handed out relief supplies, including blankets and hot meals, to over 1500 people affected by the tornado. Emergency cash cards worth $300 each were given to over 600 families identified as particularly needy. A few people in the area were already well acquainted with the Bodhisattva “angels”, with their blue and white uniforms, and expressed their gratitude for Tzu Chi’s compassion. Those who had never heard of Tzu Chi were amazed by the organization. Many left with not only material, but also spiritual support and reassurance that they could recover from the disaster and move on with their lives.

After the two-day distribution, Tzu Chi received a call from Red Cross, asking if Tzu Chi would be able to host another relief effort. The next major distribution is scheduled for June 23. Tzu Chi will continue monitoring the situation until then.

For more information on how to make a donation in the United States, please visit http://www.us.tzuchi.org/usa/home.nsf/other/donateCharity You may make a donation with

Cash

Check (payable to “Tzu Chi”) to 1100 S. Valley Center Ave., San Dimas, CA 91773 or a Tzu Chi office near youCredit Card (call 1-888-9TZUCHI between 9am-6pm PST)Online using Google Checkout or Paypal.
Your donation is tax-deductible in the United States.

If you are located in any of the regions impacted by the tornadoes and floods please contact Tzu Chi at (909)447-7799 ext. 501 for assistance. To find the contact information of your local Tzu Chi office, please visit http://www.us.tzuchi.org/usa/home.nsf/contact/index

For more information on Tzu Chi’s Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami relief updates, please visit http://www.us.tzuchi.org

For more information about this press release, please contact Han Huang at (909)447-7799.

About Tzu Chi
The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, whose name means "compassion and relief," is an international humanitarian organization with a special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in 1966, the group has nearly 10 million volunteers and supporters in 50 countries and has provided aid in 70 countries. Tzu Chi's work spans the fields of charity, medicine, education, environmental protection and disaster relief. It also established what is now the world's third largest bone marrow donor registry, and promotes humanistic values and community volunteerism. In 1984, Tzu Chi Foundation registered as a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization in California. In 1989, the first office in the U.S. was established in Alhambra, CA. Since then, more than 80 offices and facilities have been established with over 120,000 volunteers and supporters working to make a difference in their local communities. For more information about Tzu Chi USA, please visit
http://www.us.tzuchi.org



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