SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Members of the Buddha's Light International Association - New Jersey Chapter(BLIA-NJ) this week donated two dozen backpacks filled with school supplies to the South Plainfield Department of Social Services. 

“Education for us is very, very important. The goal of the school supply donation is to help kids in need so that they have a good start to the school year,” said Yiwen Chiang, vice president of BLIA-NJ, noting that charity, along with education, culture, and worship are BLIA’s four main goals. “Going to school should be a good and exciting experience for all kids and having a new backpack and stationary supplies can really help some families.”

Chiang began shopping for the supplies and backpacks in May, visiting various stores to ensure that all the backpacks were different styles and sizes and, on July 31, representatives of the South Plainfield-based temple personally delivered the 24 backpacks. They range in size and are filled with grade-appropriate school supplies, including but not limited to, notebooks, binders, pens, crayons, glue, paper, and more. 

Sign Up for E-News

The idea for the donation came from BLIA member Dr. Ken Holloway, a Chinese history professor and Dharma lecturer, and Chiang worked closely with Heather Barry, director of social services, who provided district’s supply list to ensure appropriate items for students in kindergarten through 12th grade were purchased.

“I want to thank BLIA once again for helping our community and our kids with their generous donation,” said Barry adding, “These backpacks will enable families to send their children to start off the new school year.”

Donations to the South Plainfield Department of Social Services and the South Plainfield Food Pantry are always welcome. Residents, businesses, community groups and organizations interested in helping or donating can contact Heather Barry at 908-226-7625/7628 or by emailing

The New Jersey Buddhist Culture Center, located at 1007 New Brunswick Avenue in South Plainfield, is a Buddhist temple founded in October 1995 through the delegation of Venerable Master HsingYun, the 48th patriarch of the Linchi (Rinzai) Ch'an School. For additional information, call (908) 822-8620; visit; or email

TAPinto South Plainfield is South Plainfield’s only free daily paper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at follow us on Facebook at on Twitter at@SoplainfieldTAP.