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'All people can help in some way': João Paulo raises awareness of aid efforts in Brazil

'All people can help in some way': João Paulo raises awareness of aid efforts in Brazil


Since late April, João Paulo's home state of Rio Grande do Sol in Brazil has been ravaged by unprecedented levels of flooding.

Torrential rains for weeks have caused the vast network of rivers in the southern regions to swell. Entire cities have been inundated by floods, with reports in some cities that major roads are under 30 meters of water. It is a natural disaster of historic proportions that has displaced over 600,000 people and damaged critical infrastructure such as power plants and water treatment facilities.

For Joo Paulo and his Sounders teammate Lo Ch, it has been an extremely difficult time to see the country they call home experience so much destruction.

I've seen a lot of friends going through a rough time, he said. I also have friends who will help many families, to save people. It's hard to be far away and feel like I can be there helping in some way. I'm trying to help from here, but it's still hard.

I am trying to raise awareness about this situation. It's not just in my country. It's not just in my state. We are seeing these natural disasters all over the world.

Joo Paulo's hometown of Serafina Corra was one of over 300 towns affected by the floods. While his family is fine, he knows it will take a long time for the region to recover.

Normally a man of few words, Joo Paulo wants to use his platform to urge people to help relieve the people of Rio Grande do Sol.

My overall message is that all people can help in some way, said Joo Paulo. We from here too, if you can donate any amount of money, it will be very helpful for those families who lost their home, child, pets. It's hard to watch those videos and those reports. So again, if you can help and donate any amount, it will be very, very helpful for those families.

In addition to financial donations, flood-affected people are in desperate need of warm clothing and supplies as winter approaches in the southern hemisphere.

The Brazilian community here in Seattle is very close and was trying to help, he said. We have a lot of people from my home state that live in Seattle, so we were trying to get together and send some [clothes] because winter is coming to Brazil. It will be cold very soon. They need clothes, coats [and] blanket. This is the time to send these kinds of things.

The reports coming out of Brazil are shocking. There is an immediate need for assistance for the millions of people affected by the floods.

His 300 cities are many families without homes, without electricity, without power, without water, said Joo Paulo. I know a lot of people in Brazil are donating a lot of things, so that's good. People have come together to help. But in this situation, we cannot stop giving. We saw here in the US with [Hurricane] Katrina, we have a lot of disasters, and people are still recovering and trying to put it all together and rebuild. This natural disaster will be a long journey for those people to rebuild and put everything back together.

Sounders FC lead fans to Luz Alliance Fund to learn more about how to support emergency relief and reconstruction efforts in Rio Grande do Sul.




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