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50th Anniversary Charity Musical Gala

Press Release     |    September 30, 2016 by National HQ

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Proceeds to benefit its long-term programs providing charity, scholarships, disaster relief,

emergency cash, medical outreach and more to hundreds in need every year

SAN DIMAS, Calif. – On Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation (Tzu Chi) will hold a 50th Anniversary Charity Musical Gala, its largest annual fundraising event of the year. On October 1, the gala will be held in Irvine at the UCI Barclay Center, 4242 Campus Drive, 7:00pm – 9:00pm. The second evening will be at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center, 188 Campus Drive, 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Proceeds will benefit Tzu Chi’s long-term programs providing charity, scholarships, food and other aid to school children; disaster relief, emergency cash, medical outreach, preventive health seminars, vaccinations and more to hundreds in need every year.

“I am very grateful to be able to give back to the communities served by Tzu Chi by performing my music,”

- Wan Fang, Taiwan singer and actress, who was nominated by the 22nd Golden melody Awards for “Best Mandarin Female Single Album “Let’s Not Be Sad.” Wan recently participated in a disaster relief project with Tzu Chi Foundation.

“Tzu Chi is honored to help underserved populations with gratitude, respect, and love” said Dr. Han Huang, CEO of the Buddhist Tzu C hi Foundation. “We are honored to provide free medical services to uninsured individuals and remote communities; preventive health seminars and vaccination to communities in need; food, backpacks and scholarships to underprivileged students; and much more. And, Tzu Chi has given volunteers opportunities to give back to their local communities.”

In 2015, Tzu Chi served, on average, 110 disadvantaged individuals every day, 365 days a year. In 2015, Tzu Chi fed 35,170 hungry people across the nation from its food pantries, helped 1,319 low-income residents file their taxes, provided warm clothes and supplies to 6,140 homeless and low-income families in preparation for the harsh winter, provided educational support in the form of school supplies and tutoring services to 32,107 children, and financially supported 359 students in further their education through scholarships.

Recent changes in healthcare laws and insurance practices have resulted in a polarized group of people near the poverty line for whom health coverage is more out of reach than ever. Tzu Chi has conducted free medical outreach care over the past 20 years. In 2015, we served over 5,000 individuals who otherwise would go untreated. With funds raised, Tzu Chi plans to double its medical outreach capacity in 2017, potentially serving up to 10,000 individuals. In order to meet this goal, significant expansions in medical equipment, pharmacy services consumable, and medical transports are needed.

“My students broke into the school kitchen over the weekend and stole food because they were hungry with no food at home.” 

These heart wrenching words came from a local elementary school principal who reached our organization and led to the seven-months development of a new Mobile Food Pantry geared to serve school children and communities without stable access to food, said Michael Tsai, Director of Western Region of Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation.

“Hunger even hides beneath the façade of upscale Southern California where one in six individuals often go hungry because stable access to food is beyond the financial means of the families. In 2017, Tzu Chi will activate a new Mobile Food Pantry program to deliver food directly to these disadvantaged communities.”

In 2015, Tzu Chi volunteers provided emergency relief following 36 natural disasters across the country, distributing 2,055 eco-blankets made from recycled plastic bottles and a total of $686,800 in cash assistance to help affected families get back on their feet. This level of care has earned Tzu Chi special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC), and resulted in the organization’s founder—Dharma Master Cheng Yen, a Taiwanese Buddhist nun—being named to the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people.

About Tzu Chi:

Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, whose name means "compassion and relief," is an international humanitarian organization with special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in 1966, the non-profit organization has four major missions: charity, medicine, education, and humanistic culture. Tzu Chi also engages in international disaster relief, bone marrow donation, community volunteerism, and environmental protection. Tzu Chi has offices and chapters on five major continents and provides aid to more than 90 countries. Master Cheng Yen was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1993 for her efforts in promoting world peace and her contributions to humanitarian relief. With compassion and kindness, Tzu Chi volunteers are dedicated to serving all humankind regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion.