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The Power of Many for Dharma Forward

Dharma Forward has been an example of the power of many.

From individual gifts, to trust gifts, temple, and district gifts, Dharma Forward has the support of many generous donors.

Dharma Forward was launched to ensure the future of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. There is no doubt that the Dharma needs to be shared and expressed to those who have not yet heard of the Dharma but also for

those who have grown up in and around the tradition to truly experience the value of the Dharma.

The monies raised through the Campaign afford the BCA and IBS to make substantive investments in long-term programs and capacity-building to ensure that the Dharma is available forever into the future. Through investments in Buddhist Education, Ministerial Support, Scholarships, Technology, Outreach, and care for our Facilities, the Campaign advances the robustness and vibrancy of our Jodo Shinshu tradition.

BCA is working towards these goals in many different areas and temples.

Districts have met the call for support! Coast District not only organized the successful National Council Meeting, but initiated and completed a fruitful silent auction among participants.

“(The auction) was a little different than just writing a check, and we saw an opportunity to bring awareness and funds for Dharma Forward and have fun doing it,” said NCM Chair Perry Yoshida. “Each temple built a basket that represented their temple, showcasing their community and members.”

In addition, Coast District donated the remaining funds from hosting the meeting to the Dharma Forward campaign.

A month later, Bay District, initiated by the Minister’s Association orchestrated by Rev. Dean Koyama, decided to donate all the osaisen (offerings) from the Bay District Joint Celebration Service in March to the campaign. The special Bay District service was held at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple (PABT) creating an opportunity to gather in person reminding Sangha members of the importance of being a part of the temple and BCA communities.

“Early on, the support of the BCA helped me as I was becoming a minister,” Rev. Koyama said. “The people I was meeting and those making an impression on my life were people around the temple. I’ve been enriched because of the people that I’ve met.”

PABT President Eric Quock organized an ingenious game of “jan ken po” (rock, paper, scissors), generating support for Dharma Forward.

Sometimes, “they (individuals) are aware of the campaign and may even know a bit about the benefits, but they need a fun way to reach into their purses and wallets,” Quock said. “Normally, this (jan ken po) has been set up for individuals to participate, but at the celebration lunch, it became the perfect opportunity to set up a challenge between the Bay District temples and their representatives. (It) had a time aspect of making everyone hustle to get donations from their temple community who were present, and had the unknown of a random winner with the type of game it is.”

The game, which lasted five minutes, raised almost $1,900 for the campaign and generated a fun buzz.

“We are so happy that the game raised some unexpected funds, helped to raise awareness of the campaign, was a lot of fun, and had an unexpected winner who was made to feel good about the overall donation,” Quock said.

Temples and affiliated organization boards from across the nation support the campaign, as do ministers.

Groups with gifts above $5,000 each include: BCA Federation of Buddhist Women’s Associations, Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple, Buddhist Church of Florin, Watsonville Buddhist Temple, West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple, Stockton Buddhist Women’s Association, Vista Buddhist Temple, Coast District Temples of BCA, Buddhist Temple of Alameda, and the Florin Buddhist Women Association.

In addition, individuals continue to organize their districts and regions with special mailings while many more Sangha members have supported Dharma Forward through their participation with the Panda Express fundraisers. With the power of many, the campaign continues to gain momentum!

As Dharma Forward brings together important discussion about our shared interest, we look forward to the action generated by the programs at BCA and IBS to fully leverage the power of many.

Participate in the next Panda Express fundraiser on Dec. 1. We look forward to more fun ideas from temples and districts in support of Dharma Forward.

Please reach out to Michiko Inanaga to publicize your events!


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