Tzu Chi volunteers hand over Love Rice to recipients.
Three volunteers hold up bags of Love Rice that were donated to French Quarter residents.
Tzu Chi volunteers share inspirational words with attendees before they receive the rice donation.
FRENCH QUARTER–A total of 600 families in French Quarter received one or more bags of “Love Rice” from St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation during its second rice distribution effort to persons in that district since Hurricane Irma.
The rice distribution, which was held on September 23, was possible thanks to the donation of the fifth container of “Love Rice” to St. Maarten from Tzu Chi’s headquarters in Taiwan and the third container since Hurricane Irma. The distribution was from the latest container of rice, which arrived on the island on September 12.
Tzu Chi also came to the aid of French Quarter residents on August 5 when 500 bags of rice were distributed in the area. Each bag of rice contains 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of rice.
Tzu Chi volunteers spent their day coordinating the event and making sure that the rice distribution, which was held on the premises of the Cultural Centre, went smoothly.
In an effort to accommodate recipients from all walks of life, volunteers set up three donation stations: one for French-speaking recipients; one for English-speaking recipients and one for Spanish-speaking recipients. Each station was manned by volunteers who spoke the recipients’ language.
The donation of the rice was done under the theme “Environmental protection – love the world,” a position Tzu Chi hopes recipients will follow to protect the precious environment.
During the ceremony, attendees were also given a chance to help Tzu Chi continue its benevolent work in the community by making donations via the foundation’s “Bamboo Bank” (collection boxes). A total of US $99.33 was donated to the foundation during this drive.
Recipients were initially given one bag of rice per family and, based on the needs of each family, a second bag of rice was also given to some recipients. Elderly persons and persons with babies received assistance during the distribution. Recipients were also treated to snacks and drinks.
A total of 45 Tzu Chi volunteers participated in the event, 15 regular volunteers and 30 enthusiastic new ones.
Rice from the container received in September was also distributed by volunteers to the homes of 400 residents in Dutch St. Maarten who were in need, as well as to various organisations, including 30 day-cares and pre-schools in Dutch St. Maarten.
A total of 1,200 bags of rice were also distributed to persons in the district of Sandy Ground in French St. Martin; 400 to the Eglise de Dieu Calle de la Benediction; 100 to Eglise La Bonne Samaritaine; 60 to Ruel Hotel #44; and 40 to individual families.
Tzu Chi Commissioner Sandra Cheung said she was grateful to all volunteers who sacrificed their time to participate in the exercise and all recipients for accepting the donation of Love Rice from the foundation.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/81330-600-french-quarter-families-get-love-rice-from-tzu-chi