In an outpouring of international support, New Yorkers donated nearly US$75,000 in two days to aid areas hardest hit by Chile’s February 27 earthquake.
On Thursday, March 4, just days after Chile’s 8.8 earthquake, Puro Chile partnered with the international nonprofit organization NESsT (Non-profit Enterprise and Self- Sustainability Team) to launch the Levantando Chile Fund to offer immediate and long-term relief to victims of the Chilean earthquake.
More than 200 people turned out for the event at Puro Chile’s retail and event space on Centre Street in SoHo. Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz, Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations, welcomed the attendees, emphasizing Chile’s role in aiding its neighboring countries and friends abroad in times of crisis, saying “Now it’s Chile’s turn to ask for help.”
The event included a silent auction and reception featuring wine donated by Wines of Chile. Over US$25,000 was raised in donations at the door and during the auction, which featured items such as works of art by well-known Chilean artists, among them Sebastián Errázuriz and Jorge Tacla; several lots of high-quality Chilean wine donated by Wines of Chile; and dinners and an overnight stay at the The New York Helmsley Hotel and The Helmsley Park Lane, respectively. 100% of the funds raised from the event will support the Levantando Chile Fund.
The Levantando Chile Fund, created by NESsT in response to the February 27th earthquake, offers immediate aid to Chilean nonprofit groups that are working in the communities most affected by the disaster. Three organizations will immediately benefit from the funds raised to date: US$25,000 was earmakred for the Chile Ayuda a Chile (Chile Helps Chile) telethon campaign on March 5-6 that aims to raise US$30 million and offer immediate aid toward the construction of 30,000 emergency homes. The remaining US$50,000 raised by NESsT will be divided between Relmu Witral, a nonprofit organization located in Tirúa, a coastal town that was destroyed by the tsunami, which works to create employment and economic opportunity for local indigenous communities of Lavkenche women; and Trabajo Para Un Hermano, a nonprofit organization based in the badly-hit city of Concepción that is working with poor communities to reestablish their businesses and get back on their feet. Click here for more information on the Levantando Chile Fund and who it will benefit.
Lee Davis, co-founder and CEO of NESsT says, “We’re all Chilean today. The incredible event at Puro Chile to kick off the Levantando Chile Fund demonstrates that Chile does not stand alone. Both Chileans and friends of Chile are responding with a tremendous outpouring of support. The local Chilean organizations are best positioned to offer immediate and long-term aid to Chileans still reeling from last week’s earthquake and the ongoing aftershocks. Levantando Chile is meant to facilitate the flow of capital to enable them to rebuild their communities. This is just the beginning.”
The Levantando Chile Fund was established and is administered by NESsT with support from an Oversight Committee of prominent Chilean and U.S. leaders.
NESsT, which was founded in Chile in 1999, is planning a series of other events and online fundraising appeals to raise further capital for the Fund. Additional funds raised by NESsT for the Levantando Chile Fund will be used to support other efforts by local Chilean nonprofit organizations to help families and communities to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
For more images of the event see: Levantando Chile Launch at Puro Chile.