The idea of the Clube de Aventureiros Vagalumes (Adventurer Club), in Pouso Redondo, Santa Catarina, Brazil, was to install a clothesline with inspirational notes on it to serve the local community. But plans changed after they became aware of the tragedy involving Presidente Getúlio, a municipality in Santa Catarina that was hit by rain and floods.
So, in addition to the clothesline, called a “solidarity line,” the organizers asked visitors to bring food to be donated to city residents. The volunteers used their social networks to ask for help.
According to Soraia Plack Bridi, one of the organizers of the event, some people donated money.
"The amounts will be used to buy cookies, bread, and mineral water,” she explains. In addition to the items collected during the solidarity event and those which were purchased with donated funds, donations received by the local Adventist Church will also be sent to President Getúlio.
Among all the people who visited the solidarity event, one of them caught Bridi’s attention.
“A woman was choosing clothes for her to wear on the farm,” she recalls. “In our conversation, she told me that she always dresses up as Santa Claus at Christmas and goes from house to house in the interior of the city taking a little favor to the children. She asked me if I could take some T-shirts to put together with the sweets I had bought, so I said yes. It was really very touching.”
The woman also shared that she always bought magazines to deliver to the children. This year, however, it would not be possible, as money would be lacking.
“So we offered her magazines from the Breaking the Silence project for children and adults, as well as leaflets with addresses for the channels of TV Novo Tempo and the local Adventist Church,” Bridi says.
Rains and floods in Presidente Getúlio
Some houses have been completely swept away and destroyed by the flood, and others have mud that easily reaches knee height. Fire, Police, Civil Defense, and Brazilian Army cars often circulate on the streets to help homeless families.
In all, 18 people were found dead, nine of whom are from a single family who lived in the same yard.
This is the dramatic scenario of Presidente Getúlio, a city in the interior of Santa Catarina with just over 16,000 inhabitants. The municipality was affected by heavy rains that started the night of December 16, forming intense currents which dragged ahead everything they found.