Earthquake Emergency Relief Efforts: Update April 22, 2016

On April 16, 2016 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit near the town of Pedernales. Current casualties are estimated at 570, and are expected to increase as bodies are discovered in the wreckage. The provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador are greatly suffering, with an estimated 4,000 injured and 300,000 impacted by the disaster.Here in Cuenca and throughout the country we see Solidarity. We see Compassion. We see Helpers that are dedicated to relief, comfort and hope.
We want to share with you that Hearts of Gold is working hard to make sure each donation you have made has had a maximum impact, and that each gift has been immediately distributed for emergency relief.

Our staff is working intimately – hour by hour, day by day – with Mikhuna foodbank directors to coordinate urgent purchases and ensure you’re donations are used for items of greatest need. Within 48 hours after tragedy stuck, Mikhuna arranged for your first donations to be delivered for Canoa disaster relief efforts. Your gifts and generous item donations filled Mikhuna’s first airlift relief effort headed to Manabí in the Jama-Canoa-Cabuyal sector. Two more emergency airlifts are planned this week and will be heading to remote areas in Esmeraldas and Manabí that have received little to no organized aid.

Through your generous support, you’ve raised $10,000 disaster relief and helped us distribute over $5,000 these past three days in urgently needed items. Because of you, Hearts of Gold has already contributed:

  • 1,500 Bottles and 200 Gallons of Water
  • 30 packages of Gauze, Sterilized Cotton and Band-aids
  • 15 bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 75 packages of Batteries
  • 300 Candles
  • 26 Lanterns
  • 225 packages of Matches
  • 155 Industrial Gloves
  • 100 Rubber Boots
  • 16 bottles Cooking Oil
  • 10 boxes of Sheets
  • 9 boxes of Towels
  • 10 packages of Bed Nets
  • 30 packages of Woman’s Pads
  • 36 packages of Wet Wipes
  • 16 packages of 100 Diapers
  • 15 boxes of Children’s Ibuprofen
  • 18 bottles of Children’s Cold Syrup
  • 15 boxes of Canned Baby Food
  • 125 Canned Meats
  • 35 Canned Vegetables
  • 11 units of Bug Repellent
  • 36 units of Sunscreen
  • 18 boxes of Powdered milk
  • 108 Non- disposable Plastic Cups
  • 164 Non- disposable Plastic Bowels
  • 89 Pedialyte Bottles
  • 5,000 lbs of Lime Powder

We Still Need Your Help

The victims of the earthquake still need your help. Continued donations for water, canned food and personal care are vital. Water is needed for hydration, food preparations, hygiene and medical attention. Canned foods are essential because formal kitchens have yet to be established, and ready to eat foods are in high demand. Clothing donations, while accepted, are not an item of urgent need at this time.

Mikhuna will continue to create family-based survival kits to assist with the distribution of aid. Each kit is filled with a variety of food, hydration and personal care items that can serve a small family for 2-3 days. Family kits facilitate aid dispersal and removes logistical problems of managing and establishing aid kitchens at this stage of relief work.

To donate items for relief efforts, please visit the Hearts of Gold office on Calle Canton Gualaceo or Mikhuna Food Bank at Turi. You can see the most up to date items list of items needed here.How to Make a Donation
Please keep in mind that you can make a monetary donation:

  1. Via PayPal.
  2. Bank Wires  – (best for immediate distribution of gift’s larger than $100):
Benificiary Account : Banco De Guayaquil
Address: Pichincha 105 and P. Icaza
City: Guayaquil
Country: Ecuador
Telephone: 59343730100
Swift Code: Guayeceg
Beneficiary’s Account Number: 0022465961
Type of Account: checking account (corriente)
Foundation RUC # is :0190395251001
      3.U.S. tax-deductible donation via CAF America, for gifts of $500 or more.

How to Volunteer

We encouraged those wanting to volunteer to lend a helping hand at Mikhuna Foodbank, located to the left of the church in Turi, to make these care kits and assist the unloading and organization of donations

If you are interested in taking your help to a more direct level, we encourage to you to fill out the government disaster relief volunteer form, which you can find online here, and to assist in volunteer efforts in your local area.Do to the current state of affairs, trained professionals are needed to assist with disaster relief. We recommend that volunteers do not head directly to the coast to help at this time. Travelling informally to the coast is unsafe, and having unskilled volunteers is an added burden to relief services. Coastal travel may also impedecaravan efforts to disaster sites.

We Are Committed to Help in the Long Term

Hearts of Gold will continue to coordinate with Mikhuna directors and MIES insiders to make sure your gifts will best serve our friends on the coast in dire need.

Stay up to date on the relief activities YOU MAKE POSSIBLE by visiting our Hearts of Gold Facebook page. You can follow all progress for relief efforts on the Mikhuna Food Bank Facebook Page. Keep updated on all program advancement and aid activities by signing up for the Hearts of Gold Mailing ListWe encourage you to share this message with your network so that these communities can continue to receive the assistance that they need.

As the spotlight fades on emergency response efforts, Hearts of Gold is committed to assisting hard-struck communities in sustained disaster recovery. We will need your help and continued support to ensure our beloved compatriotas on the coast can rebuild lives of security, hope and dignity.

Please join us on our mission to raise an extra $40,000 to help with long-term relief efforts and the reconstruction of schools, safety and community by making a donation today.

This is a very difficult and emotional time for the country, and we are extremely grateful for you generosity and solidarity to help our friends in need.  Because of people like you, we are able to provide emergency assistance, and assist in long-term development recovery.


Natasha Verkley
Executive Director
Hearts of Gold Foundation

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