Tzu Ching at UMD

"Act with compassion and wisdom"
"Learn from and inspire each other"

About Us

What is Tzu Ching?

UMD Tzu Ching (UMDTC) is a collegiate organization dedicated to serving our local community with sincere care, kindness, and compassion. Through various service activities both on campus at UMD and in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas, we hope to foster a community of gratitude, respect, and love, and inspire others to lead their lives with greater compassion and humility.

Our Mission

Achieving wellbeing is the essence of human existence, but a variety of obstacles can hinder the goal and cause misery.

Our parent organization, Tzu Chi, is an international humanitarian organization whose mission is to relieve the suffering of those in need, and create a better world for all.

Our Global Footprints


Tzu Chi provides food, clothing, shelter, direct financial assistance, and more. Transforming feelings of helplessness and despair into hope and empowerment, and bringing out the good in people through the happiness they discover when helping others is also our goal.


Providing medical care to those who lack the means to pay was Tzu Chi’s priority from the start. Today, we have a comprehensive network of hospitals, mobile units, doctors, medical professionals and volunteers offering free healthcare. We value the wellbeings of patients, families, and medical teams equally.


Tzu Chi has schools, colleges, and universities worldwide. The objective is to deliver superior education, and nurture virtue, kindness, compassion, and joy in selfless giving. With deep faith in human nature, we advance universal respect towards all people, regardless of race, culture, language or religion.

Humanistic Culture

Tzu Chi is dedicated to fostering humanistic culture through civil responsibility and personal character. Founded on Buddhist philosophy, we advocate the view that as individuals, we should aspire to be moral, self-aware, and willing to act for the benefit of others. We pacify negative emotions, develop love and compassion, and attain wisdom.

International Relief

We are accredited by the United Nations and mobilize to provide international disaster relief in a big way. Our volunteers arrive with immediate emergency necessities like food, clothing, shelter, and medical supplies. We also offer direct financial aid to those in need. And, we’re on the ground for the long haul, rebuilding, setting up schools and water supply, offering free clinics, and more.

Bone Marrow Donor Registry

What better way is there to ease human suffering, than saving a life? Donating bone marrow can do that, with no harm to you. Tzu Chi facilitates the process of finding a genetic match for those who require marrow, by managing a Bone Marrow Donor Registry. We also have an umbilical cord blood repository and support ongoing stem cell research and gene therapy.

Environmental Protection

We believe that we can protect the environment through the choices we make and our behavior as individuals. We actively promote waste reduction and recycling. We advocate a healthy diet consisting of less meat and more fruits and vegetables. Living a simpler lifestyle and reducing our carbon footprint is crucial towards living in harmony with Mother Earth.


Putting compassion into action is at the heart of Tzu Chi’s mission. We have a global community of millions of volunteers selflessly sharing their time, applying their energy, and offering their individual capacity for the benefit of others. With their sincerity and love, volunteers make all our charity, medical, educational, international relief, and environmental protection programs possible.

Executive Board

Meet our current UMDTC e-board members!

Christine Wan

Christine Wan

Jacob Wagner

Jacob Wagner

Katherine Luo

Katherine Luo

Jenny Chen

Jenny Chen

Media Chair
Julianna Jing

Julianna Jing

Service Chair
Luc Thibodeau

Luc Thibodeau

Service Chair
Steph Shao

Steph Shao

Regional Advisor
Kathy Sheng

Kathy Sheng

Chapter Advisor

Service Events

Learn about some of the different service events we do!

The events below are ongoing during COVID19:

Virtual Penpal

Penpal Program

Make a meaningful connection with the elderly at Sunrise Montgomery Village Nursing home through emails! This event is a great way to socialize and make a new friend, while staying virtual.

Virtual Tutoring

Virtual Tutoring

We appreciate your patience as we work hard to start this service event. [TBD]

Food Distribition

Food Distribution

Join us in-person to distribute food to families in need in DC. Masks are mandatory.


Other Events and Socials

Have fun with us through our virtual GBMs and socials to meet new friends! You can keep up with our events by checking our Calendar or Facebook, and subscribing to our mailing list.

The events below have been cancelled due to COVID19:

Breakfast Serving

Breakfast Serving

We head to a couple homeless shelters and serve pastries, tea, coffee and more to the homeless there. This is a great experience that will broaden your perspective on the many blessings you may take for granted.

NIH Dinner Serving

NIH Dinner Serving

The Children’s Inn provides a home for those children seeking care at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We have the opportunity to serve dinners currently staying at the Inn to help provide further care, support, and comfort.

Nursing Home Visit

Nursing Home Visits

We visit nursing homes to entertain and spend time with the eldery. Join us in a fun morning filled with hand exercises, musical performances, and bingo!

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn a little more about our organzation!

We are a service-based organization that focuses on more than just helping the community. We want our members and volunteers to grow as people through service, and we focus on values and the meaning of why we serve. If you have any desire to help other people, we can guarantee that there’s a place for you in UMDTC.
At UMDTC, we want to create a welcoming and open atmosphere for members. We hope that through service, members will learn more about themselves and about others, and will be able to take away lessons that they can apply to their everyday lives.
We have a variety of service events, but we like to have fun too! Scroll to find out more about our longitudinal and recurring service events, and keep a lookout for our club socials as well.
If you scroll down to the calendar, you will find our service events listed for the current month. Click an event, find the “Sign-up Here” link, and fill out the form to sign up! Additionally, we send an email once a week with all of the service events that are happening and you can sign up from there as well.
Absolutely not! There are no dues, fees, or obligations you need to join TC. If you are available for a service event, we would love to have you join!
We have our general body meetings (GBMs) on the first Friday of every month of the academic year. We usually have them at 6 PM at a specified location. We talk about different topics and values at each meeting and top it off with delicious home-cooked Taiwanese food. Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on events and see you at GBM!
Nope! Tzu Ching chapters have been established all over the United States and all around the world. Tzu Ching chapters can be found at schools such as: Emory University, New York University, the University of California Los Angeles, the University of California San Diego, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas at Austin, and more. College students just like us are doing service all over the United States, and the Tzu Ching network spans far beyond UMD!
Tzu Chi is an internationally-recognized humanitarian organization that responds to disasters all over the world. When disaster strikes, thousands of people can be affected. TC volunteers wear the uniform so that those that are in need can recognize that the volunteers are people there to help them. It also gives a sense of anonymity: volunteers are not standing as individuals, but are there to represent TC as whole.

While we do not require you to wear the uniform, we hope you keep in mind the spirit of the uniform. The uniform’s blue polo and white pants represents keeping your mind as “clear as the sky” and as “pure as the clouds.”
The blue polo and white pants are definitely a fashion statement, but you need to complete 20 hours of service with us and attend an orientation to wear the uniform. Check out our calendar of events or sign-up to be on our email list for all of our service opportunities!
While Tzu Chi was founded by a Buddhist monk, it has helped people of all faiths and backgrounds. TC volunteers do not proselytize or force people to do anything they may not be comfortable with. Here at UMDTC, we simply aim to serve others with gratitude, respect, and love. Our volunteers are of a variety of different faiths and religions - and we want to make sure that continues!


Sign up to volunteer at service events!