Dear Friends of VIDA,
As 2010 comes to a close, the VIDA family wishes you a joyous holiday season. As we reflect on the past twelve months, and count our many blessings, we are mindful that our world has lived through a year of tremendous challenges and suffering. Devastating earthquakes in Chile and Haiti unleashed indescribable destruction upon these nations. And, as always, it is the poor who suffer most. However, in this time of need, we witnessed the boundless generosity of everyday people who answered the call to ease the pain and despair of their fellow human beings. We write you today, to thank you for your past support, and ask you for your continued generosity, in bringing the gift of VIDA to our less fortunate brothers and sisters in Latin America.
For hundreds of thousands of people living in poverty, VIDA is the embodiment of our community’s philanthropic spirit. Because of supporters like you, VIDA quickly responded to these emergencies by shipping containers to Haiti and Chile carrying over $7.5 million in medical aid. From bandages to surgical kits, wheelchairs to hospital beds, VIDA helped deliver lifesaving medical care to devastated communities such as Petit Goala in Haiti and Pichilemu in Chile.
In good times and in bad, access to healthcare remains a daily challenge confronting the poor in Latin America. Since our founding in 1991, VIDA has played an important role in bridging this gap. VIDA has shipped over 325 containers carrying over $450 million in aid and has diverted over 1,000 tons of viable medical supplies from Bay Area landfills. In spite of the difficult economic environment, 2010 is shaping up to be a record year for VIDA. We are on pace to send 32 containers carrying over $35 million in aid to projects in Latin America. VIDA remains an outstanding steward of your generosity. For every $1 you donate, VIDA sends $150 in life-saving medical aid to Latin America.
VIDA Peru is an inspiring example of our commitment to serve communities long after a disaster has struck. In 2010, VIDA Peru distributed supplies and equipment to over 250 institutions throughout Peru’s 12 regions. Of special note is Puente de VIDA which provides free medical consultations, basic nutrition and prenatal care to Peru’s most remote communities in the Amazon, Andes, and Coastal Deserts through our mobile clinics. This year, Puente de VIDA served a record 24 communities, up from 16 in 2009. For many of our clients, this was their first access to healthcare.
To build on our successes, the VIDA Board is setting the bar even higher. We have an ambitious goal of shipping 40 containers in 2011 and 50 in 2012. Central to achieving this goal is the opening of VIDA Miami in 2011. Thanks to the generosity of Giraldo Leyva, all operating costs for the new office will be underwritten by his company.
The mission of VIDA honors the dignity of every individual. No child should suffer because they cannot afford to have a wound properly bandaged. No elderly person should have to convalesce on a broken cot because there is no hospital bed. No human being should die because they cannot afford basic medical care. We are exceedingly grateful to all of our supports who have so generously given their time, talents, and treasures to help VIDA bring healthcare to impoverished people in Latin America. Today, we respectfully ask you to once again make a commitment to VIDA. Please join us in helping to bring the gift of VIDA to those in greatest need.
Adam G See
P.S. To learn more about VIDA’s “Adopt-A-Container” program, please contact Adam See at (510) 355-5805. This is a great way for family, friends, and groups to share the gift of VIDA.