“Warmth In Winter” - DDMSWCF Nong Chan Monastery Hosted End of Year Winter Aid
Warmth is needed most when you find yourself in the coldest of winters.
The Winter Aid charity event was initiated in 1956 by Master Dong Chu, the teacher of DDM Founder, the late Master Sheng Yen. The DDM Social Welfare and Charity Fund (DDMSWCF) continues the 50 year tradition by hosting the event on 14 December. Apart from donations and day to day consumables, DDMSWCF also engaged the community on the wisdom and benevolent care of Buddha Dharma. It was also DDMSWCF’s privilege and honor to host numerous dignitaries from DDM and various government officials, who attended and offered their blessings.
Ms Zeng has volunteered at DDM as a charity worker for over 20 years. She kindly shared with us her experience of providing comfort over these years. She mentioned a particularly moving story of a single mother, Ms Qiu, who came to Winter Aid this year. Ms Qiu divorced at the age of 27, she was left to bear the debts of her ex-husband as well as raising two daughters suffering from multiple illnesses.
Ms Qiu’s two daughters are now in university. Although both girls were able to obtain student loans since high school, they will face heavy financial pressures after graduation. Fortunately, DDMSWCF was able to help Ms Qiu while her daughters were studying. While receiving assistance from DDMSWCF, Ms Qiu also came in contact with Buddhism. Through this connection, Ms Qiu and her family came to grow stronger in the face of life’s adversities and prevail. It is their hope that one day they can pass on the blessings they have received to help others and benefit society.
Mr. Guo has volunteered for over 10 years. At today’s Winter Aid, he is accompanied by a Christian single mother. Mr. Guo said, “At the time when she returned to Taiwan from the US, she discovered she was pregnant. It would be very difficult for her to raise a child as she would not be able to find suitable work. She encountered DDMSWCF by chance. Although she was initially hesitant because of her beliefs, my wife was able to encourage and lead her to overcome the religious barriers. We have specially come today to Nung Chan Monastery to receive everyone’s blessings.”
Mrs. Zhang once suffered depression. During that time, she would think of nothing other than locking herself at home and avoid all contacts with the outside world. However, with the help and on-going care from DDM volunteer Ms Li over the last 3 to 4 years, Mrs. Zhang is not only able to start anew and find work, she is able to smile once again. Her eyes were filled with tears of gratitude that DDMSWCF has helped her to rediscover her life.
DDMSWCF Secretary General, Master Guo Qi, is very appreciative of the donations of funds, supplies and support given to Winter Aid each year to help the disadvantaged. It is his fervent hope that this small drop of benevolence spreads far and wide. Master Guo Qi also announced that DDM would like to promote “Happiness and Harmony” as the focus for next year’s event. He hopes with everyone’s effort, society will continue to enjoy peace and harmony.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)