Houston is the most populous city in Texas, with a history of digging deep and reaching for the stars. The birth of the U.S. oil industry started here in 1901, when a gusher exploded up from the ground in Beaumont 80 miles away, transforming Houston with the resulting wealth. It is also where Apollo 11 launched from NASA’s Space Center, landing the first men on the moon, and uniting the world in universal human kinship. What a perfect home for Tzu Chi USA’s Southern Region Chapter, which is fueled by deep reserves of love, and reaches far and wide into the community with compassionate relief and charity.
Our chapter was established in 1991, and its headquarters are now housed in buildings that were lovingly envisioned in the mind of our first Executive Director for 20 years, took 3 years to construct, and are now a hub of love radiating out from their location in Houston’s Chinatown. The Southern Region also has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Point Comfort, Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, and San Antonio.
The Southern Region Chapter is at ready with disaster relief: Our first mission began in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew struck Miami, and we were there for Hurricane Katrina and Rita, distributing over 5 million dollars to survivors. We are also active on the educational front, with a Tzu Chi Academy in Houston and Atlanta, and a Great Love Preschool and Kindergarten in Houston.
Our chapter provides compassionate and ongoing relief within its immediate communities. We offer charitable and food bank services in conjunction with Houston’s Interfaith Ministries, and host holiday meals for the homeless. We partner with organizations like Ronald McDonald House Charities, whose aim is to keep families together while kids cope with medical treatments and recovery. Our Happy Campus Program distributes school supplies to students from low-income families, and our chapter provides scholarships for qualifying high school students as well.
In terms of outreach, our chapter reaches wide and deep: Volunteers distribute goods to prepare the homeless for winter; they visit nursing homes and hospital rooms to provide comfort; and they make home visits bearing love and practical supplies to cancer patients, the injured, disabled, and anyone needing emotional or resource support. We at Southern Region truly bring the mission of compassion in action alive on a daily basis.