The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention - Oscar Wilde
On Saturday, April 16th at approximately 8 pm ET, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the beautiful country of Ecuador leaving hundreds dead, thousands injured and a nation in a state of emergency. The massive destruction the fell upon the North-West of Ecuador, Manta and Puertoviejo, could be felt in cities as far as Quito and even, Guayaquil. Since then, the country has been affected by a 5.1 magnitude foreshock and multiple aftershocks.
Why does this affect me on such a deep level?
In January 2015, I took my trip of a lifetime to remove myself from external stressors in Toronto that had left me incapacitated for months and heavily medicated to a point of numbness. It was one of the darkest places I had been over the past two years, and I was desperate to leave to find some sort of solace in my numbed state to realize my #1 bucket list item: Visit the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.
It was this trip that allowed me to feel something again. Being able to feel the joy of the sun on my skin, salt water coating my body and most importantly, the country showed me empathy and kindness despite what I was going through. Simply put, Ecuador and the people that I met on that trip saved my life - literally. Are my struggles gone? No. This country gave me the strength, motivation and love I needed to keep pressing on. It was able to foresee the obstacles and challenges that I would need to face like the stress-induced seizure on an airplane on its way to Colombia to which I still have to seek treatment for amongst many others.
The non-profit initiative, Project #ShowSumLove, was inspired by the things that I saw and the people I met in Ecuador. It is nothing less than appropriate to raise awareness and hope that those who are reading will either contribute directly to the project or to organizations that are seeking aid for helping the Ecuadorians re-build their lives.
In the matter of moments, many lives were taken, buildings and roads flattened by the catastrophic earthquake that will be forever ingrained in the memories. I have partnered with friend, Marco Fiallo, owner of Community Hostel in Quito, Ecuador. ALL proceeds raised will be deployed directly into water, food, blankets, and supplies to aid those on the north-west coast of Ecuador.
Project #ShowSumLove is an advocate for transparency and will provide donors a financial breakdown of how the funds are deployed just like we did for our L.I.F.E. Argentina project. 100% of donations are deployed with 0% overhead.
I will be fundraising up until June 13, 2016; as I will be leaving for Ecuador to help with earthquake relief the following day. So many lives have been lost, thank you for letting me be your proxy to provide aid to Ecuador.
How to help?
- Please share this blog post, the POWER of social media is incredible!
- Travel to Ecuador, they need tourism more than ever.
How to make a donation to Project #ShowSumLove?