For many, volunteering can be a simple act of kindness. But, for many who volunteer with Tzu Chi, it’s a calling. One such individual is Barbara Cooney. Learning about wildfires on Maui, she knew she had to fly in to help.
“I was involved in an earthquake in Kobe, 1995,” Barbara recalls; “when this kind of thing happens… I have this abundance of empathy… just giving a monetary donation wasn’t enough for me.”
Another, like Hawaii local and volunteer with the Tzu Chi Pacific Islands Regional office, Iskandar Rabeendran, explained that the benefit wasn’t just for survivors alone: “I’m helping myself through helping others.”
But, most important of all, Stefanie Fan, a veteran Tzu Chi volunteer on Hawaii, explained that the most valuable thing a volunteer can do is share their positive presence: “when you talk to the people who are suffering from a disaster, if you can be like a lotus flower—beautiful and fragrant—then they can receive positive energy, and we can turn something bad into something good.”
Meet our incredible volunteers in our latest video, and make a contribution to our fundraiser*, donate.tzuchi.us/mauirelief.
*BONUS: when you make a donation until Sept 30, 2023, your gift will be matched, dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. Use the link above and give today.