It was a Saturday afternoon when the first earthquake hit Nepal on April 25th, 2015. In the span of a few minutes, the culturally-rich, isolated Himalayan nation had its villages, towns and sacred temples reduced to rubble- leaving more than 8,500 dead, 22,000 injured, and half a million homeless. Two days after the first quake hit, the Hotes Foundation team arrived in Nepal, providing relief both in the city as well as up in the mountains, working hard to find the most devastated, remote, and populous communities in need.
The team quickly discovered most these villages were not only poverty stricken but had limited access to roads or bridges, which left them abandoned with little to no help or assistance from any organization. They arrived in the Helambu region, where landslides from the quake had cut off all road access, leaving over 450 people stranded in their most desperate hour of need. Mobilizing his team and relief supplies quickly, Richard airlifted 10 helicopter loads of non-perishable food, goods, and supplies directly to the village. Normally, Hotes Foundation distributes house to house but because 90% of the houses were collapsed the Hotes Volunteers grouped each family together and then personally handed each and everyone noodles, rice, sleeping bags, and fortified milk powder. The grouping of families ensures that the goods were distributed equally and fairly. The Hotes Foundation never delivers goods in lines because this method of distribution is both demeaning and ineffective distributing fairly and equally.
Back in Kathmandu, close to 3,000 people were living in tents and makeshift shelters. Sadly, the majority of these people weren’t being helped by anyone and were in desperate need for basic items like food and water. Taking the initiative, the Hotes Foundation arranged for a large nearby grocery store to open up its doors just for them in the early morning hours before its normal hours of business. Directly across the street from the grocery store was a large camp of 500 earthquake victims that came from surrounding regions after their homes were destroyed. The Hotes Foundation brought one woman from each family to the grocery store so they can fill a cart with as much food and sanitary items that can fit in the cart. In moments of crisis, offering people a choice and control over their lives gives them more than just the resources to survive, it provides them dignity and respect in the face of hardship, desperation, and uncertainty- which can make all the difference in the world.
For more information on this mission or to help on future projects with the Hotes Foundation, please call (425) 889-5917 or complete our online form.