Fiesta4Hope is a grassroots organization that provides support for vulnerable communities through the promotion of sustainability. Our goals are
to raise awareness within our communities in the United States of the areas of need we focus on
to raise money to help promote and rebuild sustainable lifestyles through creative, engaging fundraising events
to empower teenagers and young people to be activist leaders capable of effectuating positive change
Current Partnership: Aibonito, Puerto Rico
Ten months after Hurricane Maria, we, the founders of Fiesta4Hope, attended a school service trip to help with the devastation in Puerto Rico. Each day we were exposed to the various areas of need, including the reconstruction of houses, roads, businesses, and schools, along with the restoration of the beaches and rainforest.
On the second day of the trip, we planned on salvaging the remains of a family’s fallen home so that some pieces could be reused. When we arrived at the site, we learned this family was living on a cement slab with their 11-month-old in the hospital suffering from liver failure and malnutrition. The family survived off of a ‘farm’ in the backyard, which was solely a plot of soiled mud with ill animals crammed into tight pens. We were horrified to learn that Centro PASO, the non-profit who took responsibility in connecting this family to broader means of aid, was running out of money. We knew there was so much more that needed to be done, and there would be no going back on the commitment we were about to make.
Less than a week after returning home, we created our fundraiser -- the 2018 Fiesta4Hope Public Market. Not exactly sure where to start, we designed Fiesta4Hope’s website, imagining a fun day of shopping, games, food, and live music. We compiled a list of potential vendors, containing local businesses that ranged from antique shops to boutiques. We pitched our mission, driving from town to town and explaining our cause. Broadening our target audience, we solicited stores that attracted different ages and genders and opened the event to garage sale tables. A local student band made their debut and provided the entertainment. Securing a food truck was our greatest obstacle, making over 60 calls before finding a deli excited to work with us.
We promoted the event through flyers, newspapers, and church bulletins, as well as on Facebook and Instagram. With over three hundred attendees, it was eye-opening to see how quickly the $2.00 entrance fees, vendor fees, and donations added up to $8,000, validating the overlooked mantra that, “every little bit counts.”
With the first year almost behind us and nearly $15,000 to show for it, we have stayed dedicated to helping Puerto Rico and Centro PASO. We have started Fiesta4Hope school chapters around the country, hoping to educate and empower teens while simultaneously raising money.
In the summer of 2019, we organized and chaperoned Fiesta4Hope’s first service immersion trip, taking twelve other girls to Puerto Rico to work with Centro PASO and provide aid to the still suffering town of Aibonito. We have also recently registered with New York State as a 501(c)3 trust, making Fiesta4Hope an official non-profit organization. Our mission to help the people of Puerto Rico rebuild their beautiful island home and restore their lives is humbling. We know how fortunate we are to live the life that we do and how fulfilling it is to bring joy and hope to people in need.