The Tzu Chi Center for Compassionate Relief represents another footstep toward Tzu Chi’s global mission of philanthropy and empowerment.
It is an exhibition and gathering space that introduces the general public to the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation – a global, humanitarian non-profit organization devoted to the missions of charity, medicine, education, disaster relief, environmental protection, and humanistic culture. The Tzu Chi Center operates under Tzu Chi USA, the American chapter of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation.
Situated in New York City’s illustrious Upper East Side, the building itself is a short distance from the Headquarters of the United Nations. This makes the Tzu Chi Center a conducive working environment with partner United Nations-accredited non-governmental organizations and representatives of civil society, all whose values coincide with that of Tzu Chi’s.
As such, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation holds multiple accreditations, including from the UN Environment Program (UNEP) as an observer of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and its subsidiaries, as well as special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. We are also recognized members of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) and InterAction.
The first floor of the building is dedicated to showcasing products from DA.AI Technology and the Jing Si Shop; brands dedicated to Tzu Chi founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s commitment to sustainability and care for the Earth. The second and third floors feature multimedia exhibits that showcase Tzu Chi’s many relief efforts around the world, Tzu Chi’s origins, and a serene space for meditation.
In keeping with our values for life and safeguarding health, our programs are now offered virtually through the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice.
We are recognized members of:
Tzu Chi USA
Tzu Chi USA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to humanitarian aid in the areas of charity, medicine, education, humanistic culture, disaster relief, and more. It was founded in 1989 as the American chapter of the global Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. Domestically, staff and volunteers operate across 9 functional regions with 62 offices in 25 states. Tzu Chi USA has also extended its aid across the Americas, including countries like Mexico, Haiti, Ecuador, and many more.
Tzu Chi at the Global Level
The Global Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, starting from Taiwan in 1966, has spread to over 100 countries and territories around the world. Its volunteers carry out the mission inherent in its name, which in Mandarin Chinese mean compassion (tzu) and relief (chi).
The Founder of Tzu Chi
In 1966, a young Buddhist nun called Dharma Master Cheng Yen witnessed extreme poverty and suffering in Hualien, Taiwan. She made a powerful aspiration to relieve suffering and educate the rich while helping the poor. With the help of five female disciples and thirty housewives, they funded the first relief mission that would mark the beginnings of what we now know as the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. Master Cheng Yen’s leadership and teachings continue to guide Tzu Chi volunteers today.
DA.AI Technology is a brand inspired by Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s commitment to environmental protection and climate action. It develops eco-textiles from recycled materials that are turned into clothing, accessories, bedding, and more. Some of these, including eco-blankets and scarves, have been used in Tzu Chi’s disaster relief missions around the world, convening sustainability and innovation with humanitarian aid.
DA.AI Tech products may be viewed in person on the first floor of the Tzu Chi Center and are available for purchase via the web.
Jing Si Shop
The Jing Si Shop is a mindfully-focused brand that sells all-natural foods, personal care items, stationery, gifts, eco-friendly items, and publications. It was founded on Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s values for self-sufficiency for herself and her fellow nuns at the Jing Si Abode in Hualien, Taiwan, who earn their living by creating handcrafted soaps, harvesting tea, and so much more.
At the Tzu Chi Center, visitors may enjoy a cup of tea at the Jing Si Cafe & Bookstore. Its products are also available at our online shop.