The 2016 Tzu Chi Great Love Charity Fair was held in a field next to Pasir Ris MRT on 23rd and 24th January 2016. The atmosphere was festive, warm and full of goodwill and love. There was beauty, truth and goodness everywhere.
Beauty was evident in the youth and children volunteers at the fair, who spread joy and cheer as they danced, sang or went around selling food and drinks to an appreciative public for a good cause.
Truth was shared at the Jing Si Publications booth, where Tzu Chi volunteers welcomed one and all, and shared with them inspiring stories of compassion and wisdom. And Goodness was indeed everywhere, evident from all the volunteers who worked tirelessly and joyfully to make the event a success.
Dr. Henry Yeo, a visitor at the Fair, showed his appreciation by commenting that the Fair was well-organized, well set up and the location was good. He said that there was a fine variety of vegetarian food. He also noted that it was perfect timing to hold the Fair near Chinese New Year as people were looking to stock up on New Year tidbits and goodies at this time.
Mr Rudi Willi Pfaff, a Tzu Chi volunteer from Germany who has been volunteering for quite a few years, was also present at the Fair. He said that he was often impressed and touched by the volunteers in Tzu Chi, who all work to contribute to a good cause, pitching in to serve and help out of love, with no thought of gaining fame and fortune.
There were two volunteers at the Jing Si Publications booth who introduced me to the fascinating and inspiring books. They shared the wisdom that they had gleaned from the books and uplifted my spirits considerably. Indeed, my heart and mind were invigorated by their generous sharing of Master Cheng Yen’s (Tzu Chi’s founder) priceless books and philosophy!
I also sat at the nearby tables where experienced Tzu Chi volunteers shared about the spirit and heart of Tzu Chi in a tranquil and inspiring way. One of them patiently and kindly explained the history and teachings of the Tzu Chi Missions to me.
I was also touched by the efforts of the recycling volunteers at the Charity Fair. I saw a quiet dignity in them and in the invaluable work they were doing to protect our environment and planet.
Tzu Chi Missions Fulfilled
I feel that the Missions of Tzu Chi were fulfilled by the two days of the Great Love Charity Fair. This Charity Fair nobly contributed to the Tzu Chi Missions of Charity, Medicine, Education, Humanistic Culture and Environmental Protection in both small and big ways.
Charity was done by both the stall holders and the visiting public at this Fair. The whole fair was filled with the love and generosity of the big-hearted public who donated and also bought from the charity booths. The stall and booth folk also gave in terms of unstinting and tireless effort, time and energy. All gave very cheerfully, with lots of goodwill and smiles. Contributions were made with sincere hearts and pure minds. I was very heartened and glad to see so many grateful hearts working in unison and teamwork!
There was a Medical Booth at the fair. Here, first aid and health matters were dealt with. The doctor and nurses served happily and deserve our love and gratitude for the hard work they put in.
The Mission of Education was fulfilled by the Jing Si Publications and the reception booths. There were posters and banners explaining the history and missions of Tzu Chi and volunteers who were always ready to share more information with interested people. I found these educational efforts inspiring and very relevant to everyone.
Humanistic Culture was exemplified by the Tzu Chi media team with its aspirations to report on the truth, beauty and goodness of humanity at every Tzu Chi event or activity. The collaborative efforts of the team members demonstrated exemplary teamwork. For the writers, photographers and videographers, reporting on this Charity Fair was a labour of love; it was a calling/vocation, and we were willing to put in effort and time beyond the call of duty.
Environmental Protection was practised avidly at this Fair. We were striving for Zero Waste. This meant that the cheerful volunteers kept busy with clearing the tables of utensils and with picking up rubbish from the ground. All the recyclables were placed in separate bags which were then sorted according to material by another group of volunteers. Disposable utensils were not provided by the food stalls and people brought their own containers to buy the food.
There was also the aim of no wastage of food. This meant that the food bought by the public from the food stalls was served in reasonable but not excessive amounts. In this way, there was no unfinished and wasted food.
I feel that this Charity Fair contributed in many ways. Amidst the hustle and bustle of city life, this Fair was a safe and tranquil haven where hearts, minds and spirits could find rest and joy. Although the Fair was busy and hummed with activities throughout the two days, love, joy and peace were experienced by many who turned up.
I am so glad that I came to this event, where I witnessed many pure hearts and beautiful actions. It was time and effort well spent, and I felt greatly fulfilled.