New York, NY – The Buddha’s Light International Association, in conjunction with the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple of New York, were recognized last week by Queens Borough President Sharon Lee for its generous donation of fresh produce to other religious communities within the interfaith community and of PPE to frontline workers.
“Thank you BLIA and Fo Guang Shan for securing this donation of fresh produce filled with nutrients for Queens families to stay healthy in the spirit of interfaith collaboration and shared humanity,” said Borough President LEE. “Also grateful for the generous donation of PPEs to Queens workers still on the frontlines, as we remain vigilant in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and as New York City approaches Phase 2 of reopening.”
To prevent food insecurity in Queens, BLIA and the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple of New York donated 5,000 pounds of fresh produce to leaders of New Greater Bethel Ministries in Queens Village, the First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst, the Chabad of Rego Park and the Chabad of Flushing to distribute to their members.
“At a time when there is such divisiveness in our nation and our communities, it’s wonderful when we reach across the systemic divides to help each other and make our world and community a more cohesive place to live,” said New Greater Bethel Ministries Pastor John H. Boyd.
The food provided to New Greater Bethel Ministries went to its senior citizens.
Bally Corp., a produce wholesaler in Maspeth, Queens, donated a total of 102 cartons of produce that included 60 cartons of kabocha squash, 31 cartons of long beans and 11 cartons of chive flowers to BLIA and the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple, according to Lee’s office.
The Buddhist organizations also supplied four medical facilities and two unions representing frontline workers with personal protective equipment that included 100 face shields and 19,000 facemasks — including 10,000 medical masks, 6,000 surgical masks and 3,000 N-95 masks, according to Lee’s office.
The Floating Hospital in Long Island City; the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center in the Rockaways; the Plaza del Sol Family Health Center in Corona and the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital also in the Rockaways.
The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) members and UFCW Local 342 members in Queens and Long Island were also supplied with equipment through the Queens Borough President’s office.
“With PPE playing such a crucial role for our members working in grocery stores, these masks helped them to do their job in a safe manner,” said a spokeswoman from UFCW Local 342. “Donations provided to the union for distribution have been helpful and allow Local 342 to provide our members with safety equipment that is needed so they can continue to provide for their communities in which they live and work while staying as safe as possible for themselves and their own families.”
The venerable Master Hsing Yung, founder of BLIA, was glad to make the donation.
“A kind heart, like a blooms bouquet, can spread joy and happiness to others,” said Yung.