The current pandemic quarantine orders are being felt around the world. In south India, Gaden Shartse Monastery started to share their food and supply rations with neighboring Indian villagers. Some of these villagers are local vendors and construction workers laboring on the Doeguling Tibetan settlement, where the monastery is located. Several rounds were provided during the months of March and April. Other Tibetan monasteries had also been contributing within their own local Indian communities.
GSTDL was invited to join in on these contributions where the Board of Directors agreed to contribute $20,000 USD to this effort, with funding coming through an endowment from the Walter Drake Trust Fund. The late Mr. Drake was a former student of our late Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen, and many of Geshela's social benefit projects continue to be funded through this legacy of generosity.
Furthermore, the GSTDL Board was inspired to make additional local contributions to our Long Beach and Los Angeles communities in recognition of the urgent need and struggles that many people are facing here. A combined $10,000 USD from the Drake Fund will be donated to the Long Beach Community Table, the Long Beach Disaster Relief Fund, and the Los Angeles Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund. Meanwhile, donations currently being received by GSTDL for the center's COVID-19 activities are slated for general support and maintenance of GSTDL as well as fundraising for Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation, as the monks' 2020 tour has been temporarily suspended due to quarantine.
The Buddhist monastic community and its lay supporters enjoy a long history of mutual dependence, support, and harmony. We hope these humble gestures during the time of COVID-19 help carry this on as a living tradition. Please join us in rejoicing in the merit of generosity and dedicating it for the benefit of all beings.
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