In September of 2017, in the middle of the Atlantic hurricane season, Fred Martins and Gustavo Couto founded the non-profit organization VER - Volunteer Emergency Relief. Noticing that a lot of people in the Brazilian immigrant community had recently moved to Florida and had never been through a hurricane before, Fred and Gustavo started posting videos in Portuguese on social media about how people should proceed before, during, and after a hurricane.
Nothing was planned; they just wanted to spread as much information as they could to the immigrant population. After seeing how serious Hurricane IRMA was becoming, they decided to rent a U-Haul truck two days before IRMA landed in Florida, so they could be ready to help with anything they could. The plan was to wait for Hurricane IRMA to pass. Then they would do a damage assessment of their own houses first, check out the conditions in their own neighborhood, and if everything was okay, they would meet in front of a local church. Everything was okay in their neighborhoods, and like a miracle, not even the power went down. So few hours later, right after the curfew was over, they got together.
With a pickup truck, a few cases of water, and a bunch of tools, off they went. Neither of them would ever imagine that from that simple action, God would give them a mission that would end up putting together an army of volunteers (to later be called the "V-angels"). VER would raise over 200K Dollars in food donations, and deliver over 2000 emergency relief boxes in Broward County, Key West, and Puerto Rico.
VER would be the first non-profit organization to arrive in Key West to do a local assessment of the damages and the real need of the local population. In a record time, only 15 days, VER was approved by the US Government and granted the non-profit status 501 (c) (3). For Fred and Gustavo, there is no doubt that God planned everything.
By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings.
To bring people emergency relief and hope right after a disaster.
Acts of nature, natural disasters, storms, etc... Those are not the acts of God. They cause despair, destruction, and even death. The actions we take to help others after the storms show the acts of God!
VER - Volunteer Emergency Relief - is a non-profit that was founded on the above principle by Frederico Martins and Gustavo Couto, who, after a category 5 hurricane hit South Florida in the summer of 2017, decided to take action immediately. By mobilizing their communities around helping others, they were able to fully experience the acts of God right after the storm.
Our mission is to Do Good in times of major need. We enable service and volunteer organizations to act during disasters. Our simple, yet effective model allows for volunteers to jump into action immediately after a disaster strikes. We approach action on a concentric methodology: First, take care of you and your family. Second, your neighborhood. Third, your community. And at last, but not least, other communities.
Our purpose is to provide means and mechanisms to let people do their part in helping others, no matter where they live and no matter when a disaster occurs. To achieve this, we need to establish key partnerships and build centers of operations and training to bring volunteers together to help others based on their skills, circles of influence, and abilities to help.
Frederico Martins is an entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in international business. With 3 pillars: God, family, and his career, Frederico Martins believes in human potential as the main force for generating results in any organization. He is the creator of various social and volunteer projects due to believing that his life calling and purpose is to serve others.
Mr. Couto utilizes his skills and 20 years of experience to help clients create and protect wealth. He has a passion for teaching people about money and is an active speaker on finances. Mr. Couto believes in using business as a Force for Good! As a Co-founder of VER, he strives to leverage business connections and partnerships to bring Volunteer Emergency Relief services to those in need.
Mr. Couto is also an active Rotarian, member of the Rotary Club of Boca Raton West where he currently serves as Treasurer and is past president 2016/2017.
Camille Martins has many years of experience in finances. She started her career back in 1998 as a bookkeeper and today she is the Director of Finances. She is contributing to the overall success of VER by effectively managing all financial tasks. Camille is an excellent relationship builder and has a top record of streamlining procedures and finding innovative, cost effective solutions for our non-profit organization.
Camille earned her bachelor’s degree from the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil. Her heart is always pointed to the good causes, especially those that involve children. She has served over 10 years as a volunteer at the children's ministry of her Baptist church.
Did you know that you can donate to the Volunteer Emergency Relief every time you shop on Amazon.com?
Just click on the link below and register VER as your preferred charitable organization.
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