Local Businessman Seeking Donations For Chile Quake Victims

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by Ralph Nichols

Patricio Mendoza is making a last-minute push for public donations to fill a 40-foot container with clothing and bedding for victims of last month’s 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile.

Donations of clothing, bedding or cash can be made at Mendoza’s business, EC Computer, located at 22311 Marine View Dr. in Des Moines.

With the deadline for making donations for the earthquake relief effort fast approaching – the cut-off date is this Friday, April 2 – Mendoza said the container is 25 feet full.

“We still need 15 feet of clothes,” he added. “I hope that this week, Holy Week, with Good Friday as the final day for donations, people will find this an appropriate time to give to Chilean earthquake victims in need.

“We’re collecting clothes here. Please, just bring them on in.”

Needed are winter clothes for men, women, boys, girls, and infants and toddlers that are in “good condition.” But “no shoes, and underclothes have to be new only.”

Cash donations will be spent in Chile to buy roofing materials and nets for commercial fishermen.

Last month's earthquake in Chile hit near Viña del Mar, Patricio's hometown.

The container, which is located in north Seattle, has been donated by Seattle-based Westward Seafoods. On Saturday, Mendoza and others will box the donated clothing and put it back in the container, which will ship on Monday.

A 20-day voyage will deliver it to Talcahuano, a port city in the “’Zero Zone’ where the biggest damage was done,” he said.

When the container arrives in Chile, Mendoza will be there to receive it, thanks to a donation from Public Access Channel 77 for his airfare.

While there, he will get to see his father Humbetor and talk to him for the first time since the earthquake. “Other family members have seen him and he’s fine,” Mendoza said. “But his phone doesn’t work and I still haven’t talked to him.”

Mendoza noted that he is the only individual or organization in this area “to have permission from the Chilean consulate in San Francisco to ask for money and donations” for earthquake relief.


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