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The Acts of Generosity of Tzu Chi Foundation

The Acts of Generosity of Tzu Chi Foundation

The famous Tzu Chi Foundation stands for the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Republic of China. Literally "Compassionate Relief", Tzu Chi is an international humanitarian organization and a non-governmental organization (NGO) with an international network of volunteers and employees. Tzu Chi Foundation has been awarded a special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Tzu Chi Foundation has many sub-organizations such as the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) and also the Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association (Tzu Ching). Tzu Chi volunteers and relief workers are mostly identifiable worldwide by their blue and white uniforms called ‘lántiān báiyún,’( lit. 'blue sky, white clouds').

Buddhist nun Master Cheng Yen on May 14, 1966 established The Tzu Chi Foundation as a charity organization with Buddhist origins in Hualien, Taiwan. She was inspired by her master and mentor, the late Venerable Master Yin Shun (Yìn Shùn dǎoshī) a proponent of Humanistic Buddhism, who encouraged her to "work for Buddhism and for all sentient beings". The organization thus started with a motto of "instructing the rich and saving the poor" as a group of thirty housewives who donated a small amount of money each day to care for needy families.

Tzu Chi Foundation has grown to become a significant actor in civil society, with approximately 10 million members, and chapters in 47 countries. Tzu Chi has grown to become not only the largest Buddhist organization in Taiwan,[7] but also Taiwan's largest owner of private land.

The four major causes of the Tzu Chi Foundation are Charity, Medicine, Education, and Humanity, as emphasized by the official motto, or concept of "Four endeavors, eight footprints". The eight footprints are charity causes, medical contributions, education development, humanities, international disaster assistance, bone-marrow donation, community volunteerism, and environmental protection.

Tzu Chi Foundation’s variety of causes include case management, medical, educational and disaster relief. The organization builds and operates many hospitals and schools, with outreach efforts that range from visits to nursing homes to providing bone marrow surgery, as well as offering items such as washing machines to struggling single mothers. The television "Da Ai" network operates with its own news and television programming. Chinese schools have also been established abroad, such as in Australia and the United States, which apart from teaching Chinese and sign language also guides students in ways of compassion and community service.

A remarkable segment of funds raised by Tzu Chi revolves around environmentally friendly goals in encouraging the recycling of items such as water bottles as well as using reusable items or reusing items to reduce waste. The foundation operates over 4,500 recycling stations throughout Taiwan. One of the foundation's projects is the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles for textiles. The project, which was started in 2006, collects PET plastic bottles and recycles them into cloth.

It is claimed that as of September 2008, some 11,856,000 bottles were used to make more than 152,000 polyester blankets, many of which have been distributed as part of Tzu Chi's disaster relief programs. Other items made with the recycled resins include thermal underwear, T-shirts, hospital bed sheets, medical gowns and uniforms for Tzu Chi volunteers.

On November 18, 2012, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the organization announced a donation of $10 million in the form of $300 and $600 Visa debit cards to those affected in the New York and New Jersey area.

Tzu Chi Foundation is distributed in 47 countries and regions including USA, Canada, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and various locations in Asia, Europe and Africa. In the Philippines, the Tzu Chi donated 30 million pesos for the rehabilitation of Tacloban’s Sto. Nino Church after the super typhoon Yolanda devastatingly struck the land. 

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