In the wake of devastating floods in Queensland, Australia, in February, two Buddhist groups have stepped forward to offer support. Buddha’s Light International Association of Queensland (BLIAQ) Loving Care Group gave A$10,000 (US$7,600) to Logan State Emergency Services (SES) volunteer organization. Meanwhile, members of Australia’s Vietnamese Buddhist community came together to give A$100,000 (US$76,000) to support flood victims in and around Lismore.
Logan, a suburban area just south of the Queensland state capital Brisbane, was heavily affected in the floods, which began there in late February and ran into March. Officials said that the flooding was the worst seen in the city since 1974. The community’s SES volunteers became widely known for their tireless efforts to help those affected.
BLIAQ Loving Care Group honored their efforts last month with a check. On hand to present the donation to Logan’s mayor, Darren Power, Logan SES controller Jim Ferguson, and acting local controller Jane McKay was BLIAQ abbess Manwang and Peilian Sung.
“The SES were out all night and day, saving lives and providing essentials to stranded families,” said Power. “They don’t get paid a cent and dedicate their time to helping others without any complaints. They provided an amazing service in a very difficult time right across the city. I can’t speak highly enough of our SES and Logan can’t do without them. This donation from the Temple’s Loving Care Group goes to show just how caring our community is.” (The National Tribune)
According to local media, Logan SES volunteers logged some 3,000 hours across 656 shifts and responded to more than 1,000 calls during the floods. They also provided 12,000 sand bags to residents in need.
Ferguson offered thanks, stating that the donation would help the SES to increase its capacity.
“All of our 160 members are exhausted and they just kept going to make sure they reached everyone in need,” Ferguson said. “This generous donation from the temple will assist with our recruiting so we can increase our membership. We also want to acknowledge and say thank you to our volunteers by handing out some awards to honour their commitment.” (The National Tribune)
Abbess Manwang noted that BLIA World Headquarters had supported their fundraising efforts.
“We want to spread out the good things, our Buddhism expands wide and we want to offer gratitude to all of the people supporting the flood recovery,” Abbess Manwang said. “People have experienced difficult times. This donation to the SES will help them and is a token of our appreciation.” (The National Tribune)
Steve Krieg, mayor of Lismore, a small city some 200 kilometers south of Brisbane, offered thanks to the Vietnamese monks on his Facebook page on 2 April. The monastic in yellow on Kreig’s left was identified as Thich Tâm Phuong, abbot of Quang Duc Monastery of Melbourne.
“You never know who you are going to meet and what absolute blessings that you will get,” Krieg told the Australian Broadcasting Company. “We went up to the evacuation center and they met with evacuees and gave them all a small cash donation as well.” (Happy Mag)
This group of Buddhist monks just donated $100K to Lismore flood relief (Happy Mag)
Chung Tian Buddhist Temple donates to SES flood efforts (My News Feed)
Chung Tian Buddhist Temple donates to SES flood efforts (The National Tribune)
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