Friday, January 14, 2011

Our hearts break for the disaster victims and their families

Normally I do not include news stories or so-called “bad” stuff in my blog. Qualidade de Vida is meant to be a celebration of Brazil in all its manifestations, along with some story telling about Luiz and my life here.

But the horror of the floods and mudslides in the mountain communities not too far from our home makes me feel negligent in not acknowledging this tragedy.  Continuing with the happy dance that is my blog during this time seems to place me in a parallel universe.  It doesn’t feel right.

So I do want to mention that Luiz and I, along with our family and friends have been deeply moved by this tragedy (which continues as the rain still falls).  Some of our friends have family living in the affected areas who have been impacted, some horribly so.

You can visit this photo essay to get a greater understanding of how tragic this situation is.

This article offers a host of ways you can help with material aid or by making a bank deposit to an assistance organization.


Rachel said...

So sad! So horrific! Breaking our hearts too...

Mallory Ferland Ramos said...

hey Jim, a lot of people in the States are talking about how to donate to the flood victims, but there are no online donation sites. kinda hard to donate to Rio here in SP too...are you thinking about setting up another emergency online fund that we can donate to paypal with and then you take to a donation station? just a thought, Rio Gringa (the Rachel in NY) is also looking for a more direct way to get donations there other than RC International.

Jim said...

Mallory - thank you for your faith in me (with other people's money) but I'm afraid this is too big for me. If a person in Brazil wants to contribute they only have to go to a Loteria storefront and make a bank deposit (i.e. they do not need a Brazilian credit card or bank account).

For the folks in the USA I think most would balk at making a donation to an individual person's PayPal account. They are pretty well trained to seek out a reputable not-for-profit and often times want the tax deduction (which they could not get if they gave to a PayPal account I set up).

One thing I DO think would be cool is if someone set up an account where people could text to make a US$10 donation. But that is WAY over my head. But I think via Facebook and Twitter we could really work that.

GingerV said...

the photo with the church in the background is amazing - I have pulled it and sent to Camillo. we did not attempt to go into Friburgo - so reason to get in the way. but this mud is / was a plaza with the cable car going up to the peak about Friburgo. I will look through my archives and send you one of before....
we really don't know how bad everything is.
the Condominium Stucky has some minor slips / some trees on wires / and some pedras on our streets disrupted. nothing we can't fix or survive.
we had not heard about B Esper. the road that direct was broken several places - not passable - sorry I can't help with news of your friends.

GingerV said...

Jim, there was a Brasilian Red cross outpost on the news last night. I have no real faith in the red cross getting 100% of your funds where they are needed - but it would be a start.
there will be a collection taken to help those in our immediate area. I will let you know when I know. the government will be paying up to $R37,000.00 for 'legal' houses lost. others are just lost.

Jim said...

Yeah, that photo of the church at the struck us too. We recently went to the Festa Junina there and ate dinner under the tree in the center of the photo.

Luiz has dug up a phone number for a resident we know in Boa Esperança - we will try her later today.