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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Hoy Por Mi, Manana Por Ti" - An Example of Paying it Forward

by Claudia Giannetti, a Red Cross Mile High Chapter Volunteer
On Saturday, October 19, I was part of fellowship of people coming together to provide, as well as to receive, support in light of the recent Colorado floods. 

I am a Red Cross volunteer and I have been working with the disaster response and recovery operations centers since the devastating floods swept through our beautiful state of Colorado mid-September.  Thousands of people suffered incredible destruction. Yet, as it happens in crisis situations people come forth to offer assistance, breaching lines of economic status, religious belief and ethnic makeup. 

The Tzu Chi Foundation, which literally means “Compassionate Relief” and is a Buddhist, non-governmental international humanitarian organization that visited Greeley, Colorado this past weekend to provide additional aid to support some of  those greatly affected by the flood waters in an area of Weld County.  Buddhists, Christians, and perhaps other religious beliefs... Latinos, U.S. Citizens, Chinese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese and other ethnic backgrounds...came together under the roof of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Greeley, sharing emotions and compassion to help alleviate hardship for those currently in need. 

I went to the meeting to assist with the English/Spanish interpretation.  I was deeply touched by the experience.

As part of the intake process, the Tzu Chi volunteer gave each client two additional gifts - a small “piggy bank” and a fleece scarf.  The piggy bank symbolizes that by saving a few cents a day, the person who received the help may one day help out another person in need. Indeed, this is how the Tzu Chi members are able to gather funding for the aid they provide in the community! The fleece scarf, besides providing warmth, was made out of two recycled plastic water bottles, teaching us the importance of recycling garbage for a repurpose use such as this. 

There is a perfect saying in my native Spanish language that symbolizes the overall message of that day: "Hoy por mi, mañana por tí" – Today for me, tomorrow for you.  Today, we are here for you, but tomorrow, you may be called to assist another in need. 

What a great way to spend my Saturday morning, in fellowship with people I may never cross paths again, but an experience that left a path of sunshine in my heart.

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