SAINT MARTIN (MARIGOT) – The St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation continued to help alleviate the burden faced by households on the island when it donated 22lb bags of “Love Rice,” and other essentials to 250 families in French St. Martin.
The relief effort was held at in French Quarter on Saturday, July 20, under the theme: “Think good, speak good and do good.”
A combined total of 200 bags “Love Rice,” 300 pair slippers and 800 pieces of household items were distributed amongst the recipients.
A total of 24 volunteers assisted during the relief effort, six of whom were from the St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation.
Many of the recipients were grateful for the items received. One recipient said she really needed the items and she only had just one pound of rice left in her home and she worried about where the next meal would come from for her and her children. “This is a blessing,” she said at the end of the event.
Another recipient said the efforts of the foundation touched her as it was not just about giving, but also about sharing. “It’s really nice to see that people are still here to help. After (Hurricane) Irma, many people are still not doing anything. This is really good for people. My situation is really tough. When you have kids, you have to focus on your kids and continue working,” the female recipient, who said she is currently unemployed, but is pursuing a course at the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) and hopes to get a job soon at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA).
Another recipient said although Irma was in 2017, many people are still suffering, and the help received is very much needed. “The community needs this more often,” the recipient said.
A resident, who said his name was Derrick, applauded the efforts of Tzu Chi Foundation saying, “It’s very nice and sweet to see (Tzu Chi Foundation), come to French Quarter to help. As a people, we are supposed to come together and do the same. We need to help each other,” he said.
The St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation will receive another container of “Love Rice” from Tzu Chi’s headquarters in Taiwan to help the people of St. Maarten/St. Martin even further. This will be the sixth container of rice to be received since the passing of Hurricane Irma and it will enable the foundation to continue spreading seeds of love on the island.
Tzu Chi St. Maarten Commissioner Sandra Cheung thanked all the recipients for graciously accepting the items donated and volunteers for assisting in the exercise.