Seattle soccer fans can give South American flood victims an assist

Dec 14, 2010, 11:02 AM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 9:50 am

Residents wade through a flooded street Saturday in Puerto Santander, a town on Colombia's northeastern border with Venezuela. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

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One of Seattle’s bright young sports stars is asking for your help. Sounders FC supporters and many others are coming to the rescue Wednesday night.

Fredy Montero has returned to his native Colombia. The South American nation has been devastated by torrential rain, floods, and mudslides in recent weeks. The death toll by some estimates is over 200 and climbing.

Montero’s city of Campo de la Cruz was hit hard. His grandparents’ home went under water. Another city called Barranquilla has sustained severe damage.

“Once I saw how bad it was I knew in my heart I had to go as soon as possible,” Montero said.

Portland, Ore. based Mercy Corps has a field office in Colombia. Spokeswoman Linda Murphy tells me the Colombian people need shelter, mattresses, sheets, and mosquito nets. Other items which help in a disaster include, soap, detergent, and hygiene toiletries. Mercy Corps also has psychologists on the ground to help families cope with the tragedy of losing homes and loved ones.

I tagged along with the Sounders last summer for soccer matches in Honduras. People in Central and South America don’t have much to begin with, and their nations don’t have resources to cope with natural disasters.

Sounders FC have teamed up with Mercy Corps with a goal of raising $50,000 for the Colombian flood victims. A fund-raising event “Colombian Flood Relief” is set for Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Fuel Sports Bar in downtown Seattle. There is no cover, and all ages are permitted. Sounders fans, including Emerald City Supporters, Gorilla FC and North End Supporters are asking for donations at the door.

Sounders players and coaches will be on hand with autographed balls, jerseys and posters. There’s an auction and raffle which includes a VIP experience for the Community Shield match next March.

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