Love in Action

Report from Korea

A Loving Vegetarian Buffet
for the Disabled

By the Seoul News Group (Originally in Korean)

On December 21, 2005, initiates from The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association’s Seoul Center and SM Vegetarian Buffet conducted a year-end event entitled “Goodbye 2005 Party for the Local Disabled” at the Hasang Rehabilitation Center, during which they lovingly provided a free vegetarian luncheon for handicapped residents of the nearby community. The Hasang Center is a social welfare facility that cares for and rehabilitates people with developmental and functional physical disabilities.

The Hasang Rehabilitation Center usually provides free daily lunches for the disabled, but when the staff became concerned about how to give a special year-end party, the Seoul initiates offered to prepare such an event, and the workers were delighted and thankful for the timely help. Then on the day of the activity, approximately 200 guests and staff cheered with joy at the dozens of healthy, delicious vegetarian dishes served.

In gratitude for the initiates’ efforts, Mr. Lee Sun-Mee, head of the Center’s planning team, said, “Today you served us delicious, abundant food and specially prepared dukboki (seasoned rice cake bars), which was the most popular food at the party, and even provided us with coffee and tea. We dearly appreciate your overflowing love and warm care. Usually, buffet food is cold but you made the dishes very warm so that the disabled people could comfortably eat and digest them. Everyone ate a lot.”

Also, one disabled lady was elated because the activity fell on her birthday and she felt as if the event was a huge party for her. And another guest said, “Yesterday, I saw a TV news report saying that this year many companies are holding end-of-the-year parties providing social service rather than just drinking and playing. Today I’m very happy to meet such good people and have such good food. I wish I could laugh and be joyful like this every day next year.”

Moreover, Kim Jae-Sung, a staff member in charge of restaurant management at the facility said, “For some disabled people, lunch here is their only daily meal so they tend to eat a lot. But today everyone ate so abundantly and praised the delicious food that it was a pleasant experience.”

Finally, Hasang Center Director Mr. Park Jeung-Geun, who has been in the social service field for twenty years, expressed his deep gratitude to the initiates and asked for their continuous support rather than help on just this one occasion.The 2005 end-of-the-year party at the Hasang Rehabilitation Center was full of happiness and laughter for all who participated due to the delicious vegetarian meals served and the fact that the residents experienced the devoted love and elevated energy of Master working through the initiates. The fellow practitioners also had a wonderful time seeing the people feeling so bright and happy despite their disabilities.

Specially prepared dukboki (seasoned rice cake bars), the most popular food at the year-end Party
Mr. Park Jeung-Geun, Director of the Hasang Rehabilitation Center, expresses his deep gratitude to the initiates.