This has been a record-breaking year around the world for hurricanes. Unbelievably, Hurricanes Eta (Nov. 4th) and Iota (Nov.16th) hit Honduras and Central America within 2 weeks of each other.
My daughter-in-law Silvia Riechers, grew up in El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras; specifically the neighborhood of Colonia Policarpo Paz Garcia. This neighborhood is one of the most marginalized neighborhoods in El Progreso and was especially hard hit by the hurricanes. El Progreso is approximately 18 miles from the second largest city in Honduras – San Pedro Sula.
The Colonia Policarpo Paz Garcia neighborhood is home to 300 families, including Silvia’s mother, her sister Cintya, husband Alex, their 3-children and other extended family.
When the rain started, it came down so quickly that the homes on their dirt streets started flooding almost immediately. However, the worst was yet to come. Their neighborhood is located in a low-lying area, close to the Ulua River. Families and neighbors came together to sandbag the levee, but Eta was too strong and the levee broke. Within minutes, the water was to the rooftops. Thankfully, our family and their neighbors made it out before the levee broke.
The families in this neighborhood have lost everything. Many homes are still flooded due to the daily rains. Those that have returned are sleeping on cement or dirt floors. They have no food, clothing, medicine or other basic necessities.
The Honduran government, Red Cross, and/or any other aid organizations have not contacted the city of El Progreso, or the Colonia Policarpo Paz Garcia neighborhood to provide disaster assistance.
What is Needed?
The number one need is FOOD! Elizabeth & Carl Riechers, together with their son Carl Russell & Silvia Riechers, and First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon, Iowa are raising money for the Colonia Policarpo Paz Garcia neighborhood in El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras.
Funds raised will be used to purchase:
● medicine, and
● other basic necessities.
How will the money be used?
We are working with Church Elders Cintya Hernandez and Alex Martinez, from Silvia’s family church, Iglesia de Cristo del Evangelio Completo, Ministerios Ebenezer (Full Gospel Church of Christ, Ebenezer Ministries) to purchase and distribute food (staples such as rice, flour, beans and water), and other basic necessities, for the Colonia Policarpo Paz Garcia neighborhood.
Iglesia de Cristo del Evangelio Completo, Ministerios Ebenezer is well known within the community and has helped our family as well as other families in need. It is currently one of the few places providing shelter to people displaced by the hurricanes.
What can I do to Help?
● Click the GoFundMe Donate Button and please give what you can.
● Every donation no matter how large or small will help provide food and/or other basic necessities for families in the Colonia Policarpo Paz Garcia neighborhood.
○ A donation of $5 will buy food for a hungry child.
○ A donation of $41 will provide food to feed one family for one week.
○ A donation of $30 will buy one pair of shoes.
○ A donation of $125 will buy a bundle of basic clothing for one family.
○ A donation of $245 will buy supplemental vitamins, antibiotics, and acetaminophen for one family for one month.
**NEWS FLASH** 100% of ALL Donations go to HONDURAS **ALL FEES are PAID FOR YOU!**
1. Where will my money be sent when I donate using the GoFundMe Donate Button?
● All money received (minus the GoFundMe processing fee**) will be directly deposited by GoFundMe into a checking account set up for this project, by Project Director, Elizabeth Riechers, at the Mount Vernon Bank & Trust Co., Mount Vernon, Iowa, USA
○ Donor and donation amounts will be acknowledged on the GoFundMe page (there is an option to donate anonymously if desired).
○ Additionally, the project director will keep records of all donations.
2. How is my money sent to Honduras?
● All money will be sent by the project director via MoneyGram or Wire Transfer from the Mount Vernon Bank account directly to the Ficohsa Bank account in Honduras set up for this project by the church Elder (Project Co-Coordinator) appointed by the Iglesia de Cristo del Evangelio Completo, Ministerios Ebenezer church.
○ Receipts of money transfers will be kept by the project director.
○ Regular updates will be posted on the GoFundMe page.
3. Why are there additional fees required to send the money raised to Honduras?**
● While GoFundMe allows their platform to be used to raise money all over the world, they only have a physical presence in 22 countries. Honduras is not one of these countries.
● Additional fees are required by MoneyGram and/or the Ficohsa Bank to cover the cost of sending the money and the exchange rate fee.
○ Money must be sent in US dollars. The Ficohsa Bank will exchange the US Dollars to Honduran Lempira, the currency used in Honduras.
○ In most cases, MoneyGram is the most economical and safest way to transfer money to Honduras.
○ In the event it is less expensive to have the Mount Vernon Bank wire the money to the Ficohsa Bank, the least expensive way will be used.
● **ALL REQUIRED FEES are being PAID FOR by an anonymous person. 100% of YOUR DONATION will be SENT to HONDURAS and USED to HELP the PEOPLE living in the COLONIA POLICARPO PAZ GARCIA NEIGHBORHOOD.**
4. Who has access to the money sent to Honduras?
● Church Elders - Cintya Hernandez and Alex Martinez have been appointed Project Co-Coordinators by Iglesia de Cristo del Evangelio Completo, Ministerios Ebenezer.
○ Project co-coordinator Cintya Hernandez is the only person approved to withdraw funds from the Project bank account in Honduras.
● Purchases of most items, as designated and agreed to by the church, and project co-coordinators will be made by a church Elder that has access to purchase food in bulk at wholesale rates. This will allow us to serve more people in the neighborhood.
● Items not available in bulk, may be purchased by the same Elder, or the project co-coordinators.
5. How do I know the money was used for its intended purpose?
● Receipts of all bank withdrawals will be photographed and sent to the project director (Elizabeth Riechers) and kept with the project file.
● Receipts of all purchases made by the project co-coordinators and/or designated Elder will be photographed and sent to the project director and kept with the project file.
● Photographs of receipts and distribution of food and other agreed upon necessities will be sent to the project director and kept with the project file.
● Regular updates will be posted on the GoFundMe page. This includes photographs of receipts and distribution of food and other agreed upon necessities.
6. I want to give to your fundraiser, but don't want to use my credit card. Is there another way I can still donate and have it count toward your fundraising goal?
● Please click the Contact Button next to the GoFundMe Team Organizer, Elizabeth Riechers or Private Message Elizabeth Anne Proffitt Riechers via Facebook Messenger for more information.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR DONATION!!!
- Rebecca Eash
- Sandra Jordan
- Vildana Tinjic
- Victoria Riechers
Fundraising team: Honduras Hurricane Team Helpers (4)
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