Brazil flooding: NJ nonprofit needs transport support for collected goods

The historic flooding in parts of Brazil, which we reported on recently, has significantly worsened. The death toll continues to rise, and the water shows no signs of receding. This devastating situation affects tens of thousands of Brazilian American residents in New York and New Jersey, prompting an overwhelming response from local communities. However, a new hurdle has emerged: more help is needed to transport the collected goods to those in need.

Inside one of the four storage facilities operated by Mantena Global Care – a non-profit organization in Newark – donated items line the walls, literally stacked to the ceiling. Winter clothes, blankets, baby items, toiletries, and more are desperately needed in Brazil, where historic flooding has claimed more than 150 lives and displaced nearly half a million people in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul and the capital city, Porto Alegre. According to local authorities, approximately 13,000 people have sought refuge in the 149 facilities in Porto Alegre, a city of 1.4 million inhabitants.


Flooding in Brazil: NJ-based nonprofit providing supplies l 'They need everything'

Over the past few weeks, relentless torrential rains have ravaged the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, leaving cities like Porto Alegre underwater and creating a catastrophe that's hard to comprehend from afar.

Despite one shipment being sent out, the organization now urgently needs assistance to transport the remaining goods to Brazil. Rodrigo Godoi, president of Mantena Global Care, emphasized the dire need for transportation. 

"Although a Azul (Airline) is helping from Florida, it’s still not enough to ship everything we have collected to Brazil," he stated.

Mantena Global Care has amassed over 50 tons of goods, thanks to the community’s support, bolstered by Good Day New York's initial report on their efforts. The story went viral, garnering millions of views and inspiring many in the community to step forward. The Ironbound section of Newark and Astoria, Queens, home to many of the nearly 500,000 Brazilian Americans in New York and New Jersey, have been particularly active in their support.

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, a native of Rio Grande do Sul, recently posted images of the devastation on her Instagram. Like many Brazilian Americans in the U.S., she is witnessing the damage from afar and is hopeful to find a way to help

"The catastrophe in Rio Grande do Sul needs more attention and help," said Rodrigo. "It's a very big area affected, not just a city, but an entire state bigger than most European countries. It's huge."

After our initial report aired on FOX 5 NY, which went viral on social media, amassing nearly two million views, one local family with a private jet has stepped up to fly a shipment to Brazil. Additionally, Good Day New York has been in touch with a major air carrier that has shown interest in helping.

Gisele Bündchen has also shared a site to donate.

Mantena Global, which was not originally raising money, has now created a GoFundMe account.