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Flood Relief NOVA ERA

About 4,600 miles south lies my hometown, Nova Era, which is small 400-year old town in the mountains of Brazil. On January 24, 2020, the Piracicaba River overflowed its banks and flooded much of Nova Era. This flood was devastating and impacted more than 350 families with many, who were of very modest means, losing everything.

A fundraiser was started based in the Newark and New York City area. In a short amount of time, we were able to collect more than $13,000 with a target of replacing two essential staples for the affected families - stoves and mattresses. The donations came from all sources - corporations, individuals and even some Brooklyn children who had a most inspiring sidewalk bake sale. In addition to the generous cash donations, we also received many other in-kind donations in the USA. Things such as T-shirts for the Nova Era workforce volunteers, paint equipment and my airfare were all donated by US businesses.

When I arrived in Nova Era on February 18, 2020, I was overwhelmed by the enormous impact of the flood. The common theme and expression of everyone was sadness and despair. In floods the areas hit the hardest are at the lower elevations and often happen to also be the lesser valued neighborhoods where the less fortunate live. Nova Era was no different. In addition to the shear damage caused by the flood, health concerns quickly became another critical task. The initial days were tasked with countless dumpsters to remove building parts, debris, rotted food and damaged personal property...


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