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Poster:  Robbie         Reply   Post Message
Date: Fri Oct 7 17:02:12 2005
Subject:  Chùa Vạn Ðức Buddhist Temple
Post No:  1834    

To all who will lend an ear,

I write this letter to plead for assistance. I am only a citizen that is trying to help a large community of extremely displaced human beings. Recently our little town of Biloxi Mississippi was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The town of Biloxi is a peninsula between the ‘Back Bay’ Delta of the Biloxi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The lower grounds at the tip of this peninsula consisted of a few casinos, fishing industry and a large Vietnamese community that started in the early 1970’s.

The population of several thousand Vietnamese Americans used the Chùa Vạn Ðức Buddhist Temple for many years as a hub and community backbone. The temple was built on and survives only by donations and serves as a religious center, community center, school, outreach and primary residence for the Monks.

On the eve of the dedication ceremony, monks and nuns from all around the United States came to celebrate. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina also attended the celebration. While people came to seek refuge at the temple, most ended up seeking refuge and chanting in the attic as floodwaters quickly hit the ceilings. Fortunately the toxic waters receded, but unfortunately it gutted the entire facility and took the majority of the town with it.

The temple has opened its property as a Disaster Relief Center. Several agencies are facilitating food and clothing operations for the community. As the cleanup begins, this temple has moved out doors. The people still come, but there are no building supplies or funding to rebuild.

Due to certain “Red Tape” Biloxi and Federal Assistance programs have deemed the temple a commercial property forfeiting its eligibility for the Monk’s Primary Residential Assistance and assistance for rebuilding the Temple.

If you can contribute anything to the rebuilding of our residence and Temple, PLEASE contribute here. All donations are tax deductible. Please, this is the real deal. We welcome you to come down, see with your own eyes and help with your hands, connections, building supplies and anything else you can drum up. The temple is currently without electricity or landline phone. I know its easy for people to disassociate themselves from this disaster, 'out of sight out of mind'. Please; if you dont believe, do a little research. Call FEMA and the Red Cross, they have a tent set up in the Temples' Front Yard. This is the real deal.

Thank you for help and supporting our community!

Chùa Vạn Ðức Buddhist Temple

179 Oak St.

Biloxi, MS 39530

Tel. (210)326-6261 (cell phone)

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