Winter Distribution: Sending Warmth and Love

Canada's harsh and cold winters have made it increasingly difficult for homeless people to bare. Every year, Tzu Chi Toronto works with Street Health Nursing Foundation to host distribution events, in hopes to bring some warmth and love to citizens in need.

Community Care and Assistant Program

The West Toronto Office takes special care of those in need, working with partners such as St. James Food Bank, where volunteers works each week to sort through donations, but also contribute financially to provide fresh groceries.

In Rexdale, one of the poorest
neighborhoods in Toronto, the West Toronto Office has donated snacks and uniforms to Elmbank Junior Middle Academy, to encourage them to stay in school and improve their lives. In addition, volunteers distribute multi-lingual editions of Jing Si Sayings, a collection of Master Cheng Yen's wisdom, to hotels, schools, and food banks.

Hot Meals with Love

Even in a wealthy country such as Canada, there are still individuals displaced from a home. Winters in Toronto are especially difficult for these people. Started in 2006, Tzu Chi Toronto partnered with a local church to provide warm lunch at their soup kitchen on a monthly basis.The Tzu Chi West Toronto Office currently serves regular hot dinners at two shelters. Volunteers have visited Evangel Hall Mission in downtown Toronto since 2002, averaging over 100 clients each month. In 2014, Tzu Chi began providing service at the Charles Street Men's Hostel in Kitchener. In 2015, volunteers from Tzu Chi North Toronto Office began to serve hot meal for people in Newmarket.

Serving the Students

Since 1994, Tzu Chi has collaborated with public schools, school boards, collages, and universities across Canada, contributed over $3 million CAD to help provide various programs, such as scholarships, bursaries for extra-curricular activities, after-school programs, breakfast programs, school supplies distributions, and library books donations, that have benefitted more than 20,000 students.

In 2013, Tzu Chi further established the “Blue Sky Project” to assist more children in need in building healthier and better-rounded personalities. We believe “every child deserves a chance.” At all times, therefore, Tzu Chi strive to provide underprivileged students opportunities, that they may not have been given otherwise, that will broaden their horizons and help guild them toward their dreams. (learn more)

Tzu Chi donated library books to Edmonds Community School. Members of the Langley Secondary Football Team presented a football with their signatures to thank Tzu Chi for sponsoring them.


Serving the Seniors

In the spirit of the ancient Chinese motto, "Love Our Elderly as well as Other's", Tzu Chi Canada volunteers respect and care about the elderly in the communities.  Started in 1992 with the nursing homes in Vancouver, Little Mountain Place and Villa Cathay Care Home, Tzu Chi volunteers made regular visits and served according to the needs of seniors. Smiles are friendship bridges that open the hearts of the elderly!  Tzu Chi volunteers are now serving, nonstop, a total of 36 nursing homes, cheering up the elderly like their own.


Serving the Needy

For the past 22 years, Tzu Chi has contributed over $2 million CAD to 55 distinct charitable projects to support low-income families, single mothers, living-alone seniors, battered women, the homeless, and patients in the addiction rehab centers in local communities. In order to supplement basic daily necessities to the less fortunate ones, Tzu Chi volunteers dedicated themselves in community services such as helping Food Bank distributions, visiting low-income families to deliver Christmas hampers, cooking and serving meals for homeless friends, and donating clothing and daily necessities to the needy through winter relief distribution. In addition, volunteers also assisted mentally challenged and the handicapped children in therapeutic horse-riding, and spend time with the cerebral palsy and the mentally challenged patients in Joy Care Center in Coquitlam, B.C.

Tzu Chi volunteers regularly serve at 17 food banks and temporary shelter locations, and distributed relief aid supplies to over 3,000 repients every year. Through years of continuous regular supports, Tzu Chi volunteers formed good relationships with the recipients, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, colors, and religions. This enabled Tzu Chi volunteers to assist them with not only material aids but also emotional and spiritual comforts and supports.


Emergency Social Services

Tzu Chi joined B.C. Emergency Social Service network to provide immediate supports to disaster and accident victims. In the past years, Tzu Chi volunteers had participated in the emergency relief efforts of 2000 Rocky Mountain bus accidents, 2003 B.C. forest fire, Peterborough and Squamish flood, 2007 Richmond airplane crash, 2009 Chilliwack flood, 2013 Calgary flood, 2014 Toronto snow storm, and several apartment fire accidents in B.C.

When natural disaster or unpredicted accident happens, Tzu Chi volunteers provide immediate supports to the victims by distributing foods, daily necessities, and grocery store gift cards, helping with aftermath clean up, and providing translation, conseltation, and assistance in preparing various application and documentation. Most importantly, Tzu Chi volunteers were there to comfort the victims when they are in shock and felt helpless and encourage them to regain the strength to overcome the adversity and to stand on their own feet again

Tzu Chi volunteers helped clean up the aftermath of Chilliwack flood in 2009. Volunteers assisted victims moving out of the apartment after an airplane crash accident in 2007.


Global Disaster Relief Efforts

Tzu Chi Canada has devoted its efforts into global disaster relief since 1991. When catastrophe strikes, Tzu Chi volunteers respondes immediately through fundraising and carrying out relief work on site. Tzu Chi utilizes 100% of donations into relief efforts with 0% administration fee, because Tzu Chi volunteers pay for their own expenses to join disaster relief teams. Tzu Chi Canada has donated over $20.5 million CAD to carry out relief efforts for 1999 Turkey Earthquake, 1999 Taiwan Earthquake, 2004 South Asia Tsunami, 2005 U.S. Hurricane Katrina, 2008 China Sichuan Earthquake, 2009 Taiwan Typhoon Morakot, 2010 Haiti Earthquake, 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and 2013 Philippines Typhoon Haiyan. 

After the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Tzu Chi carried out relief efforts with aids distributions, medical clinics, and schools reconstruction. After Hurricane Sandy struck New York in 2012, Tzu Chi volunteers carried out relief efforts to comfort and provide support the victims.

Chanting and Farewell Ceremony

The chanting and farewell ceremony offers comfort to the survivors and a final farewell to the deceased. When people lose their loved ones, Tzu Chi volunteer's care and support provides a strong shoulder for the family to lean on.