Two Men From Chicago Raise $1.3 Mn on Facebook For Kerala Floods

They were also invited to Kerala by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to receive gratitude in person.

Updated
India
2 min read
Relief for Kerala floods pours in from the US.
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In an inspiring story from across the borders, two men from Chicago have raised more than $1.3 million in a matter of five days for victims of the floods in Kerala through crowd funding on Facebook.

The creators of Kerala Flood Relief Fund from USA, Arun and Abraham, are natives of India residing in Chicago. They felt compelled to help their friends and relatives back in India who became victim to the destruction caused by the floods. They felt compelled to help. The fundraiser began on 15 August and was closed on 20 August, as there was an immediate need for funds in Kerala.

However, owing to the success of the fundraiser, the men were asked by the CM’s office to relaunch the campaign.

Letter from CM's office inviting us to meet CM and also to reopen the campaign!

Posted by Arun Nella on Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Arun and Ajomon were also invited to Kerala by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to receive gratitude in person.

A record $1.3 million was raised in five days, which will go directly into the Chief Minister's Fund and help resuscitate flood-hit Kerala. Abraham said that they were close to raising Rs 10 crore.

The state of Kerala in India, with its nick name “God’s Own Country”, is currently under a state of emergency due to a wide spread flood. Please contribute even the smallest possible amount and I/We will personally make sure that 100% of it gets to State’s Disaster Relief Fund.
Arun, on the fundraiser page

On the same page, Abraham said that through the fundraiser they had made history.

We have made history! We did not have any barriers such as political, religious, or anything that apart human in this campaign. We all are able to reaffirm the trust in humanity. This would’ve not happen without each and every one of you.
Abraham

Help Without Borders

Deluge-hit Kerala has received immense help from foreign friends.

Sewa International, an Indian non-profit organisation in America, has raised over USD 10,000 for the flood relief operations in the state.

Fresh from the painful memories of hurricane Harvey just a year back in Houston, Sewa International immediately rose to the occasion by setting an immediate goal of raising USD 100,000 for the relief operations, along with its India partner, Deseeya Seva Bharati Keralam, it said.

Over 5,000 Sewa volunteers have fanned out distributing food packets and cooking kits, and are opening free kitchens and medical camps to help the flood affected.

Given the immediate need for help, we decided to release USD 10,000 in our first tranche of funds toward flood relief. We are in regular contact with our India partner, and our volunteers are joining hands with other relief agencies to provide as much help as we can in this hour of need.
Swadesh Katoch, Director Disaster Relief 

On their Facebook page they have appealed Indian-Americans to open their hearts, and wallets and purses, to help us help the people in distress.

Houston, which is home to over 62,000 Keralites, cancelled Onam celebrations and attended the India Culture Center's Independence Day celebration to raise money for flood victims back home.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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