More than 170 people, including volunteers and members of the public, attended the opening ceremony on July 11; among them was Stephen Huang, global coordinator of Tzu Chi volunteers. "We should aspire to goodness and make strong vows," he said. “I encourage volunteers to spread the humanistic spirit of Tzu Chi around the city.” Staff members underwent three months of training in Taiwan, so they could provide quality service and demonstrate this humanistic spirit. The opening of the shop means a great deal to the volunteers in Thailand. “Here is like a cultural desert,” said volunteer Lin Chunling. “It is already hard to find reading materials in Chinese, let alone inspirational books that benefit the mind and body. So we thought that we should share Jing Si books with people here.”
Fu Yan, a member of the public, said that a friend had called to tell her of the opening and invited her to come. “I think it is great. It is a learning opportunity for the children.”
It was a difficult process to find the site and secure the lease, not least because the landlord feared the location was not suitable for a charitable organization. Finally, the landlord was delighted with the outcome: "I am deeply moved to see this today. I did not expect the volunteers from Tzu Chi to be so wholehearted and genuine. "
The foundation has developed the chain of bookshops to present to the public books about Tzu Chi and related subjects. They offer a quiet and peaceful environment for reading and conversation, with the staff trained to be welcoming and attentive. They are designed as one important way to spread the Tzu Chi message to the general public.
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