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Asking Boca to help babies starving in Venezuela

One of Boca’s busiest volunteers is calling in her chips to help feed starving babies in Venezuela.  As the crisis in their native Venezuela worsens, Mary Sol and her husband Abilio Gonzalez couldn’t stand by and do nothing. “Thousands of children are at risk of dying from malnutrition,” she said.

So they’re asking for powdered milk and baby bottles. Donations will be collected at “A Formula for Love” The event is 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 8 at Boca Raton Children’s Museum, 498 Crawford Blvd. Mary Sol Gonzalez is board chairwoman.

Mas is More Foundation is the connection to get these donations safely to parents, she said. She knows two Mas volunteers, expected to attend the event.  “There is so much need,”  Gonzalez said.

Parents are finding empty store shelves while children 2 years and younger are malnourished, she said. There’s no electricity. More than 30 percent of nurses and doctors have fled the country, she said.

Venezuela food shortage
Santa Elena De Uairen, Venezuela. Empty shelves in a supermarket. Shortages of basic supplies are common in Venezuela.

Foreign aid is a point of contention and isn’t often getting through. But small nonprofits are finding a way to get aid in, she said. “Your contribution can save a life,” she added.

Gonzalez is well known in the community. She’s a former honoree and on the board of  Boca Chamber’s Golden Bell Education Foundation. She’s on the board of the Peter Blum Family YMCA of Boca Raton. She co-chairs the Junior League of Boca Raton’s non-profit training. She’s active in HOME, providing laundry, showers and other services and programs for homeless people.

She’s hoping that community network will help these efforts. “We have to do something as Venezuelans and Americans,” she said.

By Marci Shatzman

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