The Quakes and Wells Fargo are humbled and inspired by the amazing work of our frontline communities and neighbors in this time of crisis. Each week, we’ll be featuring and highlighting the work of one fantastic neighborhood hero, showcasing the great work they are doing and the organizations our community can rally around.
Additionally, a donation will be made to an organization or community project on behalf of each week’s hero. This week we will be donating to a GoFundMe for Hurricane Eta relief.
In 2008, Will Pineda and his mother opened Maya’s Cafe in San Jose. Last weekend, Maya’s Cafe was the location of a fundraiser event for Hurricane Eta relief, organized by Quakes legend Victor Bernardez.
Hurricane Eta is a Category 4 hurricane that struck Central America in early November, and devastated Honduras, the home countries of both Will and Victor.
“We’re living in difficult times, but there’s hope by helping out and spreading the word that we’re ready to support what’s happening in Honduras,” Victor said in an interview with the Quakes.
Victor had reached out to Will about hosting the fundraiser at his family restaurant in downtown San Jose, and Will was more than happy to help. “We always want to do something for the community,” says Will.
The event took place on Nov. 21-22. The community was encouraged to donate items such as clothing, bedding, hygiene products, hand sanitizer, food and water.
Will spread the word about the event through Facebook and Instagram, and with all of his customers at the restaurant. They also had a brief segment about the fundraiser circulating on Latin TV channels.
They were expecting to fill one storage container with all the donations they would receive, but the outpouring of generosity from the community far exceeded their expectations. “I’m shocked and surprised at how our community responded,” says Will.
They received two and a half storage containers worth of goods from the community, which will ship out to Honduras within the next week. Will hopes this shipment of goods will be able to bring joy and smiles to the faces of its recipients just in time for the holiday season.
Though the event has passed, Will is still receiving phone calls from community members and companies that are inquiring about how and where to donate. Because there are still many people who want to contribute, another event might happen soon.
“I hope we can have the ability to do it again,” says Will. “I want to keep doing it more often if it’s possible, maybe another one by the end of the year.”
Hurricane Eta struck the country at a time in which COVID-19 had already caused much hardship. Many Hondurans have been left with a damaged economy, loss of homes and flooded neighborhoods. The devastation that Honduras has experienced from this hurricane will take years to recover from, and Will wants to do whatever he can to help in the future.
“I have no doubt we’ll be doing this again,” he says.
Money donated to the GoFundMe will help support Hondurans to get access to food and necessities. To donate, click here.