Why do you contribute financially to the SGI-USA?
Baton Rouge, La.
When I received the Gohonzon in 2007, I had a lot of financial struggles. I had my car repossessed, and I was evicted from my house.
I also took out predatory loans that I could not afford to pay back. Five years ago, I decided to challenge my destructive financial tendencies through the May Contribution campaign. I realized that I would never have the resources to contribute more to kosen-rufu without addressing this part of my life. Because of the campaign, I learned to spend money more wisely. I also signed up as a sustaining contributor for the SGI-USA. Last year, my family moved into our dream home the same weekend of my 10th Buddhist birthday. I still face financial challenges, but now I do so joyfully. Today, I contribute out of appreciation!
Alexa O’ Hara
I was very fortunate to encounter this Buddhism while on a trip to Japan in late 2016. That January, I worked up the courage to visit the Seattle Culture Center. Mystically, a large youth meeting was ending just as I walked in. I was immediately struck by how truly happy everyone was. The youth taught me how to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and introduced me to my mentor, SGI President Ikeda.
My journey in faith would not have been possible without the sincere contributions of SGI members. Those offerings opened and sustained the Seattle Culture Center—I am forever grateful that it was open when I was seeking! I contribute to repay my debt of gratitude, to fight for American kosen-rufu and to continually develop my faith.
Two years ago, I suffered a heart attack. I furiously chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and recovered swiftly. Even with such a great victory, I was still practicing Buddhism for myself. Through reading SGI President Ikeda’s encouragement, I realized that I needed to develop the courage to share Buddhism if I wanted to become truly happy. For this year’s May Contribution activity, I based my offerings on my vow for kosen-rufu. With this change in heart, I unexpectedly received a token of appreciation from a business partner, which I happily offered to the SGI. In this Year of Soka Victory, I’m resolved to overcome all my heart problems—both physical and spiritual—through winning in the May Contribution activity and sharing this Buddhism widely.
As a child in the 1960s, I fondly remember my mother making dedicated efforts to financially contribute to the SGI when we had little to give. With her hope-filled words, my mom conveyed SGI President Ikeda’s encouragement and assured me that we would gain immeasurable fortune through our efforts for kosen-rufu. Without a doubt, my family has experienced amazing benefits and good fortune, which includes four generations of our family harmoniously practicing Buddhism together in the SGI. Just as Nichiren Daishonin’s disciples made offerings to sustain his life, I, too, will continue to make financial contributions to support our kosen-rufu movement for future generations.