So far, Chalice’s COVID-19 disaster fund has distributed nearly $613,000 to families at our sites who have been hit the hardest by the global pandemic. At our Arica site in Chile, $12,453.35 was used to help sponsored children and elders, including non-sponsored elders with chronic medical conditions who were abandoned by their families and are living alone.
In Chile, elders over the age of 75 were prohibited from going outside regularly due to the pandemic, forcing them to make quick outings to higher priced neighborhood convenience stores because they had no one to travel to nearby cheaper supermarkets for them. While elders in Chile do receive a small pension, it is barely enough to survive. Without family support, most seniors live a lonely existence, unable to afford their medications or nutritious food. According to a report by the Ministry of Social Development, the price of a basic food basket rose in October 2019, then again in January, and doubled in April 2020, making it even harder for poor elders and families to make ends meet.
To help those most in need, our site director requested for a small portion of the relief funds be used to help 10 vulnerable elders who were suffering. Our site purchased food baskets filled with non-perishable items large enough to last three months, so that the seniors would only have to purchase a small amount of food in shops. Some of the seniors require Ensure nutritional supplement drinks due to their medical conditions. Ensure is very expensive, so they also received a three-month supply.
Audolina, 86, was so grateful to receive a food basket from our generous supporters. When her brother died of a heart attack, she adopted and raised her four nephews. They love her dearly, but sadly are unable to help her due to their own financial troubles. They have since moved away in search of employment, leaving Audolina alone. In 2016 she was diagnosed with heart disease, and her house is run-down, with windowless frames and a leaky roof. She doesn’t have a stove or refrigerator, and there are days when she has no food. Thanks to the help of a kindly neighbor, she receives a plate of food on Saturdays and Sundays.
We wouldn’t be able to do our work without your support. Thank you, dear supporters, for helping us bring Christ to the poor and the poor to Christ. God bless.