By Jim Burns, American Red Cross 

CORPUS CHRIST, Texas – The Tu Bi Foundation, a Vietnamese Buddhist charity based in Texas and Virginia, is stepping forward to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
In an effort to identify areas of South Texas that were hardest hit by the hurricane, where financial assistance would have the most impact, foundation representatives met recently with American Red Cross staff at the disaster response headquarters in Corpus Christi.

Jerry Sirk, community enhancement and partnership manager for the Red Cross relief operation in that area, led foundation representatives on a tour of some of the hard-hit areas, including neighborhoods in and around the community of Rockport.

Affiliated with the Vietnam Buddhist Center in Houston, the foundation already recruited 60 volunteers to help at the NRG Shelter in Houston earlier this month.

Huyen Le, director of the foundation’s Disaster Relief Program, said her group wants to distribute emergency funds in the form of cash cards to people in selected areas. She said the foundation is still determining those areas; no timetable for the financial assistance has been established.

“We’re honored to help Huyen and her team become more familiar with the many needs of the people in this area of Texas,” Sirk said.

The Red Cross has done extensive disaster assessment to identify areas of need in Southeast Texas and has had more than 150 emergency response vehicles delivering meals and relief supplies in impacted communities. The Tu Bi Foundation is one of scores of faith-based and non-profit organizations, governmental agencies and corporate partners the Red Cross works with in disaster response.

Representatives of Tu Bi Foundation and Jerry Sirk of the American Red Cross visit a hurricane relief camp in the Rockport-Fulton area. Joining Sirk, at right, are (l-r) Huong Nguyen, Huyen Le, and Thuyen Ly.