Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Winter of Plenty, The Spring of Change

This winter, the Zen Studies of Rhode Island is helping 6 local families get through to spring by providing them assistance with groceries, clothing, fuel cards and friendly support. The goal is to lessen their burden this winter so each can continue to move towards change in their circumstances this spring. These families are experiencing a range of issues from unemployment, underemployment, are transitioning off disability or recently taken in family members in need on very limited income straining their ability to provide for themselves and to work towards creating a more positive and self-sufficient future.  All they need is a winter of plenty to see them through to the new growth promised in the spring.

The Zen Studies of Rhode Island is collecting donations of food, clothing and prepaid gas cards from now until Easter (March 31, 2013). We ask that you give what you can, fresh fruits and vegetables are what we need most, canned or dried staples, hats and gloves and local prepaid gas cards (please see the list, we are trying to follow a gluten/dairy free donation pattern as more people can share in these foods). As we collect donations, excess will be distributed to the food and clothing pantries at MCHA/OASIS, the pantry at St. Raymond's church and to other food and clothing pantries as needed. .

We also ask that when you give, you give in the name of someone. The names will be collected and on March 31st the Zen Studies will host an open luncheon buffet and then at 8pm in the evening, there will be a walking meditation and the Ksitigarbha mantra will be chanted 800 times for all those that these compassionate donations were done in the name of. In Buddhism, it is believed that one way to relieve suffering, both in life and after death, is to have someone love you enough to perform compassionate acts of in your name and then to call to Ksitigarbha to free the loved one from whatever suffering they know.
Please give and please join us on March 31st for food and celebration. Let us make this a winter of plenty in all sense of the word.

The winter has already started and as I write this, I just passed out the donations delivered by Santa and Mrs. Claus this Wednesday, the 5th of December, that came from an ecumenical dinner hosted by a local Temple as well as sundry other donations they collected on their travels. It went to the Zen families and MCHA/Oasis. One week taken care of, sixteen more to go.



 what we need
The Top 11

fruit - fresh , dried or canned (water packed only)

vegetables - fresh or frozen

rice (any kind)


fish - fresh, canned or pouch

tea - herbal, black, green





prepaid gas cards

This is always good

bread - corn, whole grain, rice, buckwheat or arrowroot (no white or wheat)

pasta - all kinds but wheat

flour - corn, cornmeal, buckwheat, arrowroot

beans - any kind, dry or canned (no seasoning or sauce)

rice cakes


instant oatmeal

chicken - fresh, canned or pouch

meats - fresh or natural cured

juice (concentrate or bottle)

peanut butter

raw nuts


prepaid grocery cards

This would be lovely

cat food

dog food

small animal diet (hamster, ferret etc)

bird seed


Also - we welcome hats, gloves, socks and scarves.

And - anything else you have at all we can take and get to someone who needs it.

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