Nova Friburgo Flood Looks to MMA/BJJ Fans for Support
(reposted from MMAJunkie.com)
Torrential downpours have wreaked havoc to Nova Friburgo, Brazil, and a pair of influential MMA training camps are turning to the fight community to ask for assistance in battling deadly mudslides.
With hundreds already dead in the Rio de Janeiro municipality, and countless more currently missing, Florida-based camps Team Armory and American Top Team have set up a charity fund at CombatAthleteCharities.com and are asking for donations to assist in the relief efforts.
[social][/social][einset][/einset]MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) spoke with longtime MMA manager Alex Davis, a native of Nova Friburgo who is on the ground in Brazil assisting with the efforts, and he described the devastation first-hand.
“Dear friends – MMA friends and everybody – I’m talking to you guys from Nova Friburgo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” Davis said. “It’s my hometown. I can’t even begin to explain to you what’s happened here. There are entire regions that have been wiped out. Thousands of people are without water and food. Hundreds of people, if not thousands, are buried under mudslides so deep that they will never be found. Whole families have been wiped out. It’s to the point that there may be no one left to even remind us that these people were once there.
“As I come back home after working with the relief and rescue teams and I get a glimpse of what’s in the media, I see that what’s getting out to the world in no way does justice to what’s really occurred here meteorologically and geologically. At this point in time, the world cannot see how much suffering is still in the future of these Brazilian cities and communities. Roads and bridges have all been wiped out, leaving thousands of people isolated with no water, no food, no electricity. Big parts of the region are completely isolated.
“It simply isn’t possible to dig out all the bodies buried in the mud, and the stench and illnesses will start affecting the population in the next few days. In my hometown of Nova Friburgo, there are three hospitals that serve the city, the surrounding smaller cities and the rural areas, but one has also been brought down by landslides, putting another piece of suffering in the way of the population.
[social][/social]”I could go on and on about the dramatic stories of loss of lives, as well as the heroism of the rescue workers as the population tries to deal with the calamity that has come on top of them. Rich and poor, cops and robbers, everybody is working together trying to cope with what has happened. It’s a disaster worse than any of us could have fathomed in our worst dreams.
“Please keep these people in your minds. Please help in whatever way may be within your means. There are thousands and thousands of people in a really, really bad situation.”
Nova Friburgo received 15 inches of rain earlier this week. That number represents twice the monthly average of the region over the past 30 years.
Brazilian athletes have long played a major role in the development of mixed martial arts, including the famed Gracie family, who gave birth to the UFC. With relief efforts hampered by continued rain, fatality reports are slow to develop, but the mudslides have already claimed the life of the mother of famed grappler Pablo Popovitch.
MMA manager Joe Mullings told MMAjunkie.com that American Top Team head Dan Lambert has already made a substantial contribution, as has corporate sponsor Muscle Warfare, but more help is needed.
Funds can currently be donated through Paypal, but Mullings said the newly-established organization hopes to have its 501(c) non-profit filings in place by Monday, which will open up further options for support.
“We’re expediting the process,” Mullings said. “We’re getting a lot of support from the government. Bank of America has stepped up and done some nice things for us. Probably by Monday, we’ll have it to where you can text money in with your cell phone. We’ll also have a Bank of America account set up.
[social][/social]”Alex is on the ground in Nova Friburgo. All the money will go directly to the city for some of the most desperately needed items, including food, medicine and shelter.”
*Please research any and all organizations prior donating time or money.