Source: ReliefWeb/Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
On September 5, 2005 the Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation reported, "The Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation has begun providing emergency assistance to Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Texas, as Tzu Chi members across the world started to raise funds for the relief efforts. Tzu Chi has committed US$4 million for emergency help to the victims who have been evacuated from New Orleans to Beaumont, Houston and Dallas. On Sept. 4, the first day of Tzu Chi's providing direct aid to the victims, 710 evacuees visited the Tzu Chi relief office set up inside the refugee reception center in Beaumont, which is about five hours by car from New Orleans. Tzu Chi members greeted the evacuees warmly, as if they were family, not refugees. Each evacuee was given a US$100 Wal-Mart shopping card, a 30-minute telephone card and a letter from Dharma Master Cheng Yen, founder of Tzu Chi... Tzu Chi has set up a relief coordination office in Houston and has mobilized hundreds of volunteers for the relief effort. Tzu Chi is sending its volunteer doctors affiliated with the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) to provide free medical services to the evacuees. Three roving medical vehicles of the Los Angeles-based Tzu Chi Free Clinic are ready to leave for Texas. Under consideration is the plan to provide hot meals for evacuees in Dallas."