DDM End-of-Year Care: sharing warmth in the winter

To share social warmth with needy families in the winter, Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Fountain organized the end-of-year care event at Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education at 9:30 a.m. on December 17, with around 400 local residents from Jinshan, Wanli, and Keelung participating. Apart from charity materials and gift money, the Praying for Blessings and Spiritual Feast activities also created a heartwarming atmosphere.

The event started with the Dharma service of lamp offering prayer led by DDM monastics. Participants chanted the Guanyin Bodhisattva Gatha and recited the Bodhisattva’s name, praying that all beings can enjoy peace and health. Ven. Chang Gui, director of DDM’s Department of General Affairs, explained the meaning of lighting the lamp and hoped participants could bring the brightness and wisdom home. The venerable used DDM’s annual themes for 2016 and 2017 to wish all participants a New Year with “Great Light” and “Bring Blessings and Wisdom Home.”

Lu Chunping, deputy director of the Social Welfare Department of New Taipei City Government, joined this event with her family. When delivering her guest address, Mrs. Lu thanked DDM for supporting the New Taipei City in bringing help and care to far-away villages in the City, given its expansive administrative area. She also expressed appreciation on behalf of New Taipei City and its mayor, Zhu Lilun. Meanwhile, Ye Rongjia, a director of DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation, emphasized the foundation’s social welfare commitment in offering spiritual counseling and helping people rebuild their minds, in addition to providing material reliefs. He also encouraged participants to “raise compassion and wisdom, jointly creating a pure land on earth.”

The Spiritual Feast show started off with the violin and piano duet performed by Zhang Guanyin and Chen Ziyu, members of Dharma Drum Young Buddhists Society. They played popular melodies, including the “Grateful Mind.” The second program featured 50 parents and school children, members of the Wanli Cub Scout of Dharma Drum Scout Group, singing songs and leading a sing-along activity. Finally, the percussion band of Lao Mei Elementary School, which won the Excellence Prize of New Taipei City elementary music competition for the past three consecutive years, played a suite of Taiwanese melodies. The performances won big applause, filling the venue with energy.

The end-of-year care charity event has been around for over 60 years. With an endeavor to promote environmental protection and education, DDM this year also worked together with the Beautiful Taiwan Non-Governmental Organization, among other social enterprises, by providing them with recycled banners and factory leftovers, which are then given to institutions for disabled people to be made into environmentally-friendly bags. This not only contributes to environmental protection, but also helps incorporate the value of mind into both the cultural and creation industry and the social service sector. Also, by packing the materials and the red envelopes in advance before being delivered, the organizer made the distribution process easier while allowing recipients to experience the joyful, Chan-inspired atmosphere on Dharma Drum Mountain.

Apart from providing the needy with household materials and spiritual support, the care event also extends to giving grants to students in need and arranging regular care visits, both of which are carried out by the DDM Social Welfare and Charity Fountain. DDM hopes to combine more social resources to deliver care to less privileged groups, in an effort to create a peaceful pure land.

Reporter: Chang Tianpei (張田沛)
Photographer: Wang Yufa, Chang Tianpei (王育發、張田沛)
Translator: Frances Liu (劉珮如)
Editor: Chang Chiacheng (張家誠)

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