Students and Moms Unite for Ecuador

Ecuador 5Local moms and students led a campaign to help victims of the April 16 magnitude-7.8 earthquake in Ecuador. Initiated by Pinecrest residents Laura Munilla and Genny Verdezoto and Gabriela Zenoz, a student from Westminster Christian School, Miami Moms for Ecuador started as a network of mothers coordinating donation drives at 10 private schools in Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay. The donations of canned food, tents and hygiene products filled two 40-foot shipping containers.

Miami Moms expanded their efforts by working with city officials. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho approved a two-week drive at county schools. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez got logistics company Ryder Systems Inc. to donate $70,000 for Miami Moms to cover the cost of trucks. Cargo transportation company King Ocean Services donated containers to ship the donations, and Royal Flowers provided a warehouse where volunteers sorted donations.

Donations from about 155 public schools filled four 40-foot containers, which will go to private nonprofit organizations in Ecuador. Altogether, all donations totaled more than 200,000 pounds.

With the money left over from Ryderโ€™s financial assistance, Miami Moms will focus on helping Ecuadorโ€™s reconstruction efforts. For more information, visit

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