Relief news update from Samoa - 17 Dec 2009  
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Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news update from Samoa.
On September 29, a massive magnitude-8.0 temblor struck underwater in the South Pacific island region of Samoa, Tonga and American Samoa. A wall of water then swept ashore that cost nearly 200 lives as people had only moments to flee the sudden waves.

Our Association member (M): There’s nothing left here at all. It’s just completely flattened.

VOICE: Conveying her heavy heart and tears, Supreme Master Ching Hai immediately donated US$30,000 to assist the most afflicted. This amount could acquire US$247,000 in supplies if bought in the United States, based on the region's cost of living.

Covering their own travel and related expenses of approximately US$3,000, our Association’s Australian relief team quickly went to the severely affected Upolu island of Samoa.

Following their initial delivery of assistance to some of the remote regions, they decided to participate in White Sunday, an annual Samoan holiday celebrated especially for children.

The team put together 600 comfort gift packs that included a beautiful bowl with flower, a cup, small toy, a large cereal pack, biscuits, juice, lollipops, chips, peanuts, SOS flyers, coloring books, crayons and white shirts for the children to wear on White Sunday.

The local merchants and Disaster Management Office staff were very generous in volunteering to work together in assembling and delivering these packs. Our Association members offered them some of Master’s animal books and Loving Hut diaries as a token of appreciation for their assistance.The Ministers of Environment and Health then offered to assisted in the relief team delivered some special comfort packs to homes where displaced children were staying, as well as an orphanage, much to the joy of the children.

At the orphanage, the DMO staff asked our Association members to stand behind the children for photos. When they did, the kids began to spontaneously sing as an expression of their love and appreciation.

The relief team was touched by these spiritual and loving island people who showed such courage and faith in God. We send our appreciation to Samoa’s Disaster Management Office,the Ministers for the Environment and Health and local merchants your caring aid.

Our thankfulness to Supreme Master Ching Hai for her heartfelt benevolence extended to the Samoan people, as well as our Association’s relief team for their diligent efforts. May the storm afflicted quickly resume their fulfilling daily lives and be protected by God’s grace as humanity strives for kinder, eco-stabilizing ways.