Brief summary of organization’s history, mission and goals
Established in 1994, the Tzu Chi Foundation USA – Fresno Service Center, a nonprofit organization, is one of sixty two branches and service centers linked with the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation U.S.A. which was founded twenty five years ago and retains the largest overseas chapter with over 100,000 members. The headquarters, founded forty three years ago by Venerable Dharma Master Cheng Yen and located in Taiwan, was established on the foundation of love and compassion for the overall wellbeing of people. There are over five million members and volunteers in over forty five countries who carry Tzu Chi mission 24 hours. Tzu Chi’s missions focus on giving material aid to the needy and inspiring love and humanity to both givers and receivers. In addition to charity, the foundation dedicates itself in the fields of medicine, education, environmental protection, international relief work and the establishment of the world’s third largest marrow donor registry. It also promotes humanistic values and community volunteerism.
Tzu Chi Medical Foundation USA also known as Buddhist Tzu Chi Free Clinic established in 1993 and Tzu Chi International Medical Association also known as TIMA was founded in 1996 by a group of healthcare professionals under the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, an international service organization headquartered in Taiwan with branches worldwide. TIMA provides the highest possible quality healthcare to individuals around the world who are in need of medical attention at minimal or no cost to the patient. Our emphasis is on the person we are caring for, not just simply curing the disease. Fresno has it first Free Clinic event in 2001 and officially established Fresno TIMA in April 26, 2003. Fresno Medical Team starting from one Free Clinic outreach in 2001 to currently in 2009 Fresno Medical Team scheduled 12 monthly Free Clinic outreach and weekly Clinic using our Medical Mobile.
“Great kindness to the known and unknown, and great compassion for all.”
Mission and goals:
· To provide free quality health care to financially disadvantaged residents, regardless of their age, sex, race or religious affiliations.
· To ensure children’s health by providing preventative medical and dental care.
· To educate and promote the public’s awareness of preventative medical care and pertinent health issues.
· To provide emergency medical relief to disastrous and/or disadvantaged areas.
· Care with Compassion, Give with Joy
The Fresno Tzu Chi Service Center and Fresno Medical Team programs and activities include the following:
· Free monthly health clinic services and prescription in the areas of: adult medicine, pediatrics, vision, dental cleaning, blood sugar/pressure tests, blood acupuncture, chiropractic care, referrals.
· Health education
· Distribution of goods to low income families and individuals
· Emergency relief
· Care for the elderly
· Assistance to the homeless
· Distribution of books and school supplies to school children
Our partners are: Lane Elementary School, Rowell Elementary School, Cooper Middle School, Kaiser Permanente, Merced Housing Authority, City of Madera, Livingston Unified School District, Health Net, Fresno Unified School, Cesar Chavez Adult School, Fresno County Health Department, Stone Soup Fresno and many more. The Fresno Free Clinic Team and Kaiser Permanente has partnered on the Neighbors in Health Fair for the past seven years. In 2010, Kaiser Permanente provided Tzu Chi Medical Foundation a grants to help our monthly outreach and to upgrade some equipments for the Medical Mobile. Members of the Fresno chapter have responded and provided relief aid to victims hit by Tsunami in Sri Lanka, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and earthquake in Haiti.