By Evan Ceretti
Feb. 25, 2016
Maria Chen wanted to see more good deeds being done in the community, and to see the good deeds of others being spread.
At first, she didn’t know how to do that.
She woke up one morning feeling uneasy after not being able to sleep well that night.
Later that day, right after a snowstorm, she and some co-workers were unable to get in through the front door.
Suddenly, a man appeared and started shovelling.
“Wow, this is something we should spread,” thought Chen.
With this, Chen created the Wall of Good Deeds.
The wall, located in the entrance of Splendid Essence Restaurant and the Moonlight International Foundation, recognizes people who have done a good deed.
Chen became tired of picking up the newspaper and always reading negative stories. She wanted to help promote a happy frame of mind.
“I just know that this is something that should be done,” she told herself.
Chen, who is a volunteer for the Moonlight International Foundation, also studies Buddhism at the Foundation. The wall is partly inspired by her spiritual leader, Master Tzen-ru.
Tzen-run encourages her students to not only do good deeds, but to spread the good deeds of others.
Michael Gaudet attends Buddhist classes at the Foundation.
He said another inspiration behind the wall is OMAK: observe, merit, appreciate, kindness.
One day Gaudet went in to clean the place, earning him a spot on the Wall of Good Deeds.
“They were very appreciative,” he said.
The Foundation works with Splendid Essence to promote people carrying out good deeds.
“Whoever is willing to tell a good deed, we take a picture and they get a free veggie bun,” said Chen.
The wall has a positive influence on people to come forward and talk about good deeds, especially children, said Chen.
“More people are willing to come and tell us.”
The people who stop to look at the wall are usually touched by reading about a good news story, said Gaudet.
“The rewards tend to be larger than the act.”
Seeing or hearing about good deeds is a great way to start a day, said Gaudet.
“There is good in the world.“
The Moonlight International Foundation also buys seconds (flawed food products) and donates to food banks. It also funds Buffalo Land Provincial Park with help from overseas donations.