White House Author
Debra Boudreaux (Tzu Chi Buddhist Disaster Relief)
Dharma Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun from Taiwan, founded the Tzu Chi Foundation in 1966. The foundation is an international humanitarian nonprofit organization that aspires to help the needy with love and inspire compassion in the wealthy. Tzu Chi, which means "compassion and relief" in Chinese Mandarin, has over 10 million supporters worldwide, and carries out its work through the four major missions of charity, medicine, education, and humanistic culture, and related fields such as community volunteerism, environmental protection, and international disaster relief. Tzu Chi responded to Hurricane Sandy in late 2012, rapidly providing material aid such as hot food, blankets, and emergency financial assistance totaling almost $10 million. The organization served almost 60,000 people in over 25 of the most severe disaster areas in New York and New Jersey. Most recently, Tzu Chi responded by providing emergency cash debit cards to those affected by the Waco fertilizer plant explosion and by showing love and concern to the courageous runners and their families at the Boston Marathon.