BGR Helping Hands Masthead

Helping Hands Newsletter
Summer 2017

Volume 9, Number 2

What Does It Mean to Love Everyone?

By Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

Ven. Bhikkhu BodhiThe supreme command of all higher ethical and religious systems is to love everyone as one’s neighbor, or even to love everyone as oneself. But how is it possible to love everyone? Can love be commanded, and if it can be, what kind of love is it that responds to a moral command? At first glance, it seems that the demand to love everyone can never be fulfilled, that it lays upon us an impossible burden.

Improving Crop Resilience in Vietnam

By Patricia Brick

Farmers in a rice paddy

When a series of tropical storms struck Duong Thi Thanh’s village in northern Vietnam last summer, she feared that her rice harvest would be lost. “I thought we would have nothing to eat and sell for this crop,” she said, noting that a neighbor’s rice fields, grown using conventional methods, were severely damaged by the storms. But Thanh’s crops, cultivated using practices of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), survived the rains and brought a good price at market.   READ MORE

BGR Projects for Fiscal Year 2017-18

By BGR Staff

At the BGR board’s annual projects meeting on May 7, the board approved 28 projects for partnership grants in the next fiscal year, at a total cost of $480,000. The fiscal year runs from July 2017 through June 2018.   READ MORE

Ministry in the Time of Climate Change

By Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

Center for Earth Ethics

From June 5 to June 6, I was privileged to participate in a conference convened by the Center for Earth Ethics at the Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan. The conference was organized by the director of the center, Karenna Gore, who is also the daughter of former Vice-President Al Gore. Al Gore himself attended the entire conference and gave the keynote address on the morning of June 6 and a panel presentation on the evening of June 6. A video of the panel discussion is now on YouTubeREAD MORE

Vesak at the UN

By Kim Behan

UN General Assembly

On May 10th, 2017, I had the privilege of joining Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi for the Vesak Celebration at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Vesak Day is the full moon day in May when Buddhists around the world celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and final passing away of the Buddha. It is one of the most important events for followers of the Buddha, a time we honor the life and teachings of the wisest of humans. At a time when the world faces deep challenges, this sacred day offers us an opportunity to reflect on how the timeless and universal teachings of Buddha can help to guide each of us in our day to day lives.   READ MORE

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How You Can Help

Interested in volunteering for BGR? By joining our team you will meet others who share your values and are working to put compassion into action and help create a better world. Some volunteers need to be located in a particular place, but most can work from home, wherever that may be. Please check the list of Volunteer Opportunities on our website and contact our volunteer coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information. As always, donations to BGR are welcome. You can donate by PayPal or credit card on the BGR website or by check mailed to:

Buddhist Global Relief
2020 Route 301
Carmel, NY  10512

Our Projects

BGR projects are designed to provide direct food aid to people afflicted by hunger and malnutrition, to promote ecologically sustainable agriculture, to support the education of girls and women, and to give women an opportunity to start right livelihood projects to support their families. This is a selection of nine of our current 29 projects. Please select "Current Projects" from the menu on the left to see them all.