Central America has been clobbered by hurricanes Eta and Iota, and the New Orleans area is home to a large population of Honduran and Guatemalan diaspora. Relief efforts are underway, but this competitive news cycle has made it difficult for the media to focus attention on the suffering in affected areas. Wednesday morning, Newell spoke to Ben Castro, who is the VP of Marketing for Ideal Markets of Louisiana about his organization’s efforts to help those in need.
“So much is happening right now with the pandemic, Mardi Gras, the election… it’s almost as if people are not even noticing Central America got hit just like we did with Katrina and Rita,” Castro began. “Only they don’t have the infrastructure we have… these people are being washed away. They have nothing. We have to give back. We are shipping out pallets of food, rice, necessities, but there are costs involved. We’re having a huge outdoor yard sale that will be at one of our Ideal Market locations, we’ll announce that location in the next few days. Anyone in the New Orleans community - if you have anything you want to donate that we can sell at this yard sale, or any clothes you want to ship to Honduras to these people who have lost everything, please contact us in our corporate office at (504) 220-9754.”
“Do you have a non-profit set up that people can send checks to and offer financial aid as well?” Newell asked.
“Yes - it’s called La Vida Ideal, and it’s been helping the Hispanic community here for over 12 years now,” Castro confirmed.
“I don’t think you can overstate the devastation,” Newell said. “I’ve seen some of the videos from contacts that I have there, and I worked Katrina, and these are the worst videos I have ever seen.”
“That’s what I’ve been seeing too, every time someone sends me a video, I’m getting Katrina flashbacks,” Castro continued. “I’m pleading with your listeners, people who shop at Ideal Market, anyone who wants to help the Hispanic community. New Orleans wasn’t just founded by the French, English and Germans - the Hispanic influence in this city goes all the way back to the beginning.”
“Absolutely right,” Newell said. “Will there be locations set up where people can drop off those clothing donations?”
“Yes, we will have a drop-off bin at every Ideal Market location,” Castro answered. “For hygiene reasons, please put those in a plastic bag. We will then send them to a sorting center where everything will be folded and inventoried before we ship it to Honduras.”
More details about the yard sale will become available in the following days. If you want to help, contact Ben Castro in the Ideal Market corporate office at (504) 220-9754 or write a check to La Vida Ideal at 2309 L & A Road, Metairie, LA 70001.