For a More Meaningful Vesak

Tom Spies, Kim Behan, and Carla Prater

Vesak is a time to celebrate the three most important events in the Buddha’s life: his birth, his enlightenment, and his passing away. It is an occasion for us to recollect, with joy and gratitude, the wondrous qualities of the Enlightened One and his peerless teaching, which leads to peace, happiness, and liberation. After the Buddha attained enlightenment over 2500 years ago under the Bodhi Tree at Bodhgaya, the Dhamma started spreading around the world. The Buddha himself taught the Noble Eightfold Path for the remaining 45 years of his life throughout northern India, ever rejoicing in the opportunity to be of service to others. As followers of the Buddha, we can follow his footsteps in our practice of giving.

For over ten years now, Buddhist Global Relief has been sponsoring projects that provide relief from chronic hunger and malnutrition to people all around the world, from Mongolia, through South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and Haiti, to cities in North and South America. Our projects provide food to the undernourished, send poor children (especially girls) to school, give women the chance to start right livelihood projects to earn income for themselves and give their children an education, and teach farmers how to increase their yields. This success has all been made possible by the generosity of our many supporters.

As Vesak approaches, please consider supporting BGR with a gift that expresses the spirit of the Buddha’s great compassion. Please connect your generosity to the celebration of Vesak at your temple, monastery, Dharma center, or meditation circle by giving participants the chance to support Buddhist Global Relief. You can either set aside a special donation box for this purpose or allocate a portion of the proceeds you receive as a gift to BGR. If you belong to a small group of lay practitioners, you can hold a metta meditation session, a Dharma talk, a “bathing the Buddha” ceremony, or any other activity to raise funds for BGR. You can also support us through peer-to-peer fundraising at

Your gift will deepen the meaning of this sacred season—for the best way to celebrate Vesak is by honoring the great compassion of the Buddha. With just a little help, people living at the edge of survival can obtain nutritious food, poor girls can receive an education, women can learn livelihood skills, and farmers can make the transition to sustainable agriculture. For  more information, please see our brochure here. By extending a helping hand, together we can serve and uplift those most in need. We are humbled by your ongoing support and look ahead to a fruitful Vesak 2019 Season! 

Tom Spies is Executive Director of Buddhist Global Relief.

Kim Behan is the Director of Programs of Buddhist Global Relief. During her professional life, she worked as a software engineer for the Telecommunications industry. She is also the co-founder of a non-profit which provides medical assistance to the impoverished communities of Vietnam.

Carla Prater is retired from Texas A&M University and now lives in Seattle, where she serves as the Assistant Director for Buddhist Global Relief.


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.