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An Awakening of My Appreciation for Humanity -
Tzu Chi Indianapolis New Year’s Celebration & Blessings (02/28/10)

 By Danny Ho
 Photos by Tienai Lin 

Myanmar new immigrants performed their traditional dance to show their appreciation for Tzu Chi and the attendees
 Myanmar new immigrants performed their traditional dance to show their appreciation
 for Tzu Chi and the attendees

 

When I was asked to join the Tzu Chi New Year’s Celebration & Blessing, I felt obligated to drive my family there, prepared for an afternoon of indulgence non-impact, to my existence life. Wow, was I ever wrong about a boring, non-stimulating afternoon by the Tzu Chi Indianapolis’ volunteers! 

As soon as we walked into the McKenzie Career Center that Sunday afternoon, my family and I were greeted with warm and welcoming smiles from the Tzu Chi volunteers.  They politely asked us to sign in and provided us with name tags.  Then, they proceeded to guide us to the coats rack, and then to a free luncheon in the cafeteria hosted by the Tzu Chi family.  All of this came as a surprise, especially since my expectations of a free vegetarian lunch is not something one would look forward to…  But, it turned out to be pleasantly tasty and healthy as well.  All in all, my expectations started to turn around for the better by 1:20pm.

The next subject on the agenda for the Sunday afternoon was the Tzu Chi Program & Blessing.  It had been scheduled for 1:30pm ~ 3:15pm.  Thus far, my concern and attention was about my four year old son.  Would he patiently watch this program with us through the afternoon?  Boy, I was thrown in for another surprise by how well Tzu Chi had planned this event!  They had already set up another classroom, filled with activities for all of the children attending the Blessing with their family.  Colin was willing to participate without any resistance and actually enjoyed himself with the new friends within the classroom.

As the clock turned to 1:30pm, the speaker of the Program started to introduce himself to the room, filled with people from all walks of life.  I took a quick glance around the room, and found myself surrounded by newcomers to this country, as well as established professionals actively participating in this Tzu Chi Organization.  I found myself wondering what it would be like for the next two hours.  Again, I was thrown in for another pleasant surprise! The Program started to introduce the new local immigrants from Burma, who are recent recipients of the Tzu Chi Indianapolis’ support, including basis life necessities such as clothing, winter coats, and kitchen knives…etc.  But, what turned out to be great surprise for me is their willingness to give back what little they have in their possession to the community through their own contributions.  That is what touched me the most by that time.

As the program continued, I learned that this is not the only Tzu Chi Chapter that had reached out to help other people in their times of need.  But, there are many other active Tzu Chi Chapters around the world who willingly reach out to support many lives around the world in many times of need, such as natural disasters…Like Typhoon Morakot in 08/2009, the flooding in Philippines, South Africa, and many more similar stories around the world.  And as it turned out, their volunteering efforts around the world have been slowly turning into one blessing at a time.

By this time, my attitude and appreciation about the Tzu Chi Organization had been touched, and changed forever… Tzu Chi, THANK YOU for touching my life, and helping me to become something better for the Humanity of the world.

Tzu Chi volunteers and audience sincerely prayed with candle lights
 Tzu Chi volunteers and audience sincerely prayed with candle lights

Guests were warmly welcomed by volunteers Myanmar new immigrants attended the event
 Guests were warmly welcomed by volunteers  Myanmar new immigrants attended the event
Tzu Chi Midwest CEO Amy Hsieh distributed the blessing red envelopes to the attendees Burmese gave back to the community by donating their coins saved in Tzu Chi bamboo banks
 Tzu Chi Midwest CEO Amy Hsieh distributed the
 blessing red envelopes to the attendees
 Burmese gave back to the
 community by donating their coins
 saved in Tzu Chi bamboo banks

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