ORIGINAL POST FROM: NEWSPRESS – SANTA BARBARA NEWS-PRESS
Hope Heroes, a disaster relief nonprofit based in Chicago, is looking for a local nonprofit to partner with in sending aid to the victims of the Montecito mudslides.
Started in August 2017 by Ryan Gergen, Hope Heroes recently set up a branch in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico to aid the victims of Hurricane Maria, which the founder said will be a two- to seven-year effort.
He also is interested in assisting in the South Coast following the Thomas Fire and the mudslides.
“I have a soft spot for California, so I really want to help out,” Mr. Gergen told the News-Press.
Though his organization currently can’t afford to set up long-term in California, he hopes to be involved in mudslide relief by partnering with an existing non-profit.
As a 501(c)(3), Hope Heroes cannot give money directly to disaster victims, but can aid efforts. In December it flew an airliner carrying 10,000 pounds of supplies to Puerto Rico. The flight back carried 110 special needs patients to Miami for care.
That was done with the nonprofits Warrior Angels Rescue and MU Student’s Humanitarian Mission to Puerto Rico.
In approximately two weeks, Hope Heroes will ship 40,000 additional pounds of medical supplies, food and water to Puerto Rico.
When his nonprofit does find a California partner, Hope Heroes would begin by giving $5,000. Mr. Gergen hopes his organization’s money will assist those in most dire need, such as disabled people, those with special needs, children and the elderly.
“It can be as simple as someone got swept off their feet and now needs a cane,” he began, “or as complex as someone has lost their house. Obviously $5,000 can’t rebuild a house, but it could pay for seeding supplies for various projects.”
Hope Heros hopes to partner with a California organization that can act as its boots on he ground as soon as possible. “I am not there,” Mr. Gergen said. “So it’s difficult for me to see what people need right this second.”
More information on Hope Heroes can be found at the organization’s website, TheHopeHeroes.org
Give to the victims of the recent Montecito mudslides: Donate Here