Victims of Tropical Storm Urduja in Ormoc City, Leyte received cash assistance and ang paos, which symbolize Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen’s blessing during a program held at Barangay Lilo-an covered court on February 25.
A total of 568 families benefitted from the aid distribution. Inspired by Tzu Chi’s compassion, the recipients promised to pay forward the help by committing to become Tzu Chi donors.
Victims of Tropical Storm Urduja in Ormoc City, Leyte received the love and concern of Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen in the form of ang paos and cash aid during a New Year’s Blessing program held at Barangay Lilo-an covered court on February 25. The distribution benefitted 568 families.
This is the second batch of Tzu Chi’s assistance to the said calamity survivors. Immediately after the widespread flooding brought by Urduja in December, Tzu Chi had distributed emergency cash aid to the affected families.
Former Ormoc City Mayor Edward Codilla, who attended the program, was moved by the kindness shown by Tzu Chi for the typhoon victims.
“I am very happy because the cash assistance for these people is a big help already. Master Cheng Yen and the Tzu Chi volunteers never fail us whenever we are in dire situation,” says Codilla.
More than the material aid, the beneficiaries are also grateful for the wealth of wisdom they gained from the event.
Rhodora Samson, 57, took notes from the teachings shared by the Tzu Chi volunteers. She particularly liked the part about living out the Four Magic Soup namely: Gratitude, Contentment, Understanding, and Tolerance.
“I hope that the attendees today will take to heart and keep in their mind that love is what is most important between people. This is the message of Master Cheng Yen for us: to help and love each other,” says Rhodora.
At the end of the program, the recipients committed to save at least a peso daily for charity. They also signed up their family members to become donors, gathering a total of 2,096 pledges.
However, Bebielyn Sumayang, 29, has been donating since after Tzu Chi first extended help in December. When she attended the cash aid distribution this time, she carried a plastic bottle containing her family’s coin donations for the last couple of months.
“I have a small variety store. I make it a point to save Php4 every day in this plastic bottle so that my family can also extend help to others because whenever we are in need, Tzu Chi is always ready to help us,” she says.
Ten Tzu Chi volunteers from Bohol, who came to support and to help in the program along with volunteers from Tacloban City, Manila, and Taiwan, were touched by what they witnessed among the Ormoc locals and volunteers.
“A lot of people attended and despite the tragedy they were faced with, they still managed to smile. We saw that they are really very thankful. We were also inspired by the locals because they are helping each other to recover,” shares Tzu Chi volunteer Liziel Sasutil, a resident of the municipality of Sagbayan, the epicenter of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Bohol in 2013.
The event closed with everyone praying together for a peaceful society and a world free of disasters.
Help Tzu Chi help others reach out to more disaster victims and inspire more people to create blessings. Visit http://tzuchi.org.ph/how-to-help/donation/ for details.