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Mompiche, Ecuador Earthquake Fund

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*** Please see the updates posted and track the fantastic progress we've made. One family is moved in, and the other home is started! Only a short way to go before both homes are complete--THANKS TO YOU!!  Your generosity has not been wasted!***

The beloved editor of Step 12 Magazine, Roni Askey-Doran, lives in Mompiche, Ecuador -- right at the epicenter of the horrific 7.8 earthquake on 4/16. This small town is in need of some serious help in order to rebuild.  In fear and desperation, most of the 1,000 residents have left their crumbled homes and pitched shelters on higher ground in the jungle.

Everything we collect will directly help 2 Mompiche families who have lost everything and have no resources. The money will go towards building materials and basic supplies of life for those who need it most.  $2,000 will build one house.

One of these families' crumbled homes houses three generations (including 7 children).  Both homes will need to be completely carted away in rubble and rebuilt -- there's very little salvageable material in the structures after the numerous quakes this past week. But whatever can safely be reused will serve as a reminder that good can come from tragedy!  Both families normally work hard at day-labor jobs and there has been no paying work available in the area since the 16th.

Roni says the ground has not stopped shaking since 7pm on Saturday night (Central Time U.S.).  There is no power (occasional windows of available electricity for some locations -- 2 hours a day), very sketchy internet, and depleating supplies.  In order to get a message to me that she was OK, Roni had to hunt down someone with a generator, message a friend within Ecuador (Galapagos), to get a message to me.  Thank God!  Communication in and out of the area is challenging and sporatic at best!
Collectively we can make a tangible difference.  A little bit goes a long way in this part of the world. 

There is an immediate need to start collecting resources.  These people need to know there is hope and that all is not lost.  

All the pictures posted here are of structures in Mompiche.  The damage is significant, but not something you'll see on the evening news because it is not a robust metropolitan area.

My name is Karen VanDenBerg.  I started a magazine in Southern California called Step 12 Magazine.  Roni is our anchor, friend, passionate advocate for recovery, and beloved editor of the magazine!  This isn't exactly the kind of "recovery effort" we normally focus on with the magazine, but it hits very close to home and we desperately want to help.  To read more about Roni, you can see her profile at

While your gifts will be extremely appreciated, we haven't much to offer in exchange for your donation.  We will post updates about these two families and post pictures of the progress as they recover from this tragedy.  

Please pass this along to friends and family, and watch for updates on the progress of these two families as they rebuild and reclaim their lives!

Thank you!
Karen VanDenBerg

This is a picture of Roni Askey-Doran, Mompiche, Ecuador

In the interest of full disclosure, I will be withdrawing the donated money on Roni's behalf and sending her the funds through paypal. Roni speaks fluent spanish  and will be coordinating the distribution of funds through builders, suppliers, and local merchants to ensure that the money is used wisely and efficiently.  We will provide updates to this campaign of the progress.

Thank you for your help in this humanitarian effort.

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Karen Vandenberg
Oceanside, CA

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