It's been just over a month since an enormous 8.8 earthquake occurred approximately miles miles offshore from the town of Curanipe in Chile's Maule Region. The 90-second quake and subsequent tsunami claimed the lives of hundreds of people, destroyed over half a million homes and left a path of devastation that will undoubtedly effect Chile for years to come. Although the mainstream media has moved onto other stories, a group of surfers, led by the Save the Waves Coalition, are still doing their part to maintain awareness and aid for the region.
Last Friday night, the Brushfire Records family co-hosted a fundraiser with Save the Waves to keep the momentum and positive contributions going towards the people of Chile. The creative stew they crafted brought together musicians, artists, fans, surfers, filmmakers and photographers all donating their time and wares for the cause. Special musical guests included Jackson Browne, Jon Swift, Dawes, Andrew Bird and White Buffalo. Art was donated by Thomas Campbell, Wolfgang Bloch, Scott Soens and Jeff Johnson. Kelly Slater even donated a signed board.
Chris Malloy added some thoughts on his Chilean experiences, "I'm humbled by the Chilean people. The way they live their lives has taught me so much. Were doing the best we can to help but it's sort of the tip of the iceberg. There will be years of work on this project, but hopefully this can prime the pump so we can continue our work and go down there again. It takes donations, but it also takes blood, sweat and tears and I hope to go back in the future and put in some real time on the ground."
Over $12,000 was raised, which will be spent on specific local projects to rebuild, educate and empower the coastal communities of Pichilemu, Constitucion, Curanipe and Cobquecura. Stretching their dollars as far as they will go, specifically the funds are going to a Save The Waves scholarship fund for local students, the rebuilding and empowerment of community centers and local leaders, beach cleanups in the wake of the tsunami, fishing equipment, dive suits and other material support for local artisan fishermen, and finally the planting of educational organic gardens in several schools at the earthquake epicenter. Unlike many other aid organizations, 100% of all funds raised go directly to these projects on the ground in Chile.
Jackson Browne's message was simple, "This event for Chile is in the true sprit of the Americas, both North and South America, and the spirit of responding immediately, and in the spirit of love and community."
For more information on how you can help out, please log onto SaveTheWaves.org They are accepting limited volunteer proposals to go to Chile and help out with rebuilding and gardening projects and are also looking for volunteer interns to help from their headquarters in California. In addition, their annual fundraiser, Life Is a Wave is on May 27 in SF. This event is a general benefit for Save The Waves environmental programs, but a portion of proceeds raised will go to support our Chile program.