On October 22, Tzu Chi volunteers in Melbourne started a second survey of disaster relief, and went door-to-door to invite those affected to the distribution on November 26.
Take the Initiative to Help
The state of Victoria in Australia was affected by low pressure. It rained continuously for several days from October 13, which caused flooding in many areas. Roads were completely submerged and residential areas covered with flood. After the waters receded, mud and rubbish were left on the ground.
In groups, volunteers from the Tzu Chi Melbourne Service Center took the initiative to help. They went many times to Maribynong, the hardest-hit area, to survey the disaster. Going along the streets, they assisted in cleaning, visited and cared for the affected households and sent them invitations for the distribution.
On November 26, at the Scout Victoria near the disaster area, volunteers of the Tzu Chi Melbourne Service Center distributed cash cards, eco-friendly blankets and scarves, Jing Si Aphorisms, condolences, and coin banks -- they represent Tzu Chi’s spirit of pooling every drop of love together to help people in need.
Volunteers have specially introduced the process of turning plastic bottles into eco-friendly blankets to the disaster-stricken households. They also explained the spirit of Tzu Chi’s coin bank, and the meaning of the donations from all warm-hearted people.
At the distribution site, the volunteers played on the screen footage of Australia. With this and the warm melody of Tzu Chi’s songs, sadness welled up in the hearts of the recipients.
Giovanni and his wife felt so grateful – he did not expect to meet such a beautiful group to help them. Another couple said that they were very emotional because the footage brought back the bad memories of floods in the past. But, when they heard the music and sang songs, they were so moved that they wanted to cry.
One victim of the disaster said that, on the day when the volunteers went to care for her, she was at her lowest. She was grateful for the care and condolences of Tzu Chi; it has filled her with courage and revived her spirits.
Another victim Shirley said: “With empathy, faith, and thanksgiving, I pray for you and hope to bring you the strength to do your work, to keep people and communities together.”
In October, volunteers helped the residents of southeast Australia clean up their houses. But many were still unable to go home because their wooden houses had been affected by mold.
Let us pray for them to return their homes soon.
Accompanied and strengthened by love, the residents are not alone on their journey of reconstruction.
Join Tzu Chi and practice the spirit of the coin bank. Let us help the needy together.
Documentary Team Zhuang Sheng-wei and Xie Kun-yao
- Report from Australia