Brazilian women living in Utah need help transporting donations to Florida

May 23, 2024, 6:09 PM | Updated: 6:40 pm

OGDEN — Two Utah women who have gathered three warehouses full of donations for Brazil flooding victims are in need of help.

Angela Cooley and Margareth Barros are originally from Brazil but now call Utah home. When they saw the historic flooding in their home country, they couldn’t stand by and watch without helping.

“We have a friends there in in the Rio Grande do Sul … and in the other cities around that was impacted,” Cooley said. “Friends that lost everything, absolutely everything, had to swim out of their house and they are sleeping in these terrible conditions. And right now is winter in Brazil and they are with sandals, shorts and shirts.”

The devastation in the country’s Rio Grande do Sul state is being compared to Hurricane Katrina.

“I saw so many natural disasters living in Florida that we lost everything, but we have the support to rebuild, to get together and rebuild inside our family,” Cooley said. That is not what happened in Brazil.”

Cooley went to her employer, Z Clear Lens Cleaner and Anti-Fog to ask for help.

“She came to me and asked me if I had heard what was going on in Brazil, and I’ve only heard a small little bit about it,” said CEO Chris Ward. “We ended up sitting down and looking over what happened, realized the need for not only myself, but for the whole of Utah and the United States to help Brazil.”

Right now their 12,000 square foot warehouse is filled with boxes labeled in Portuguese containing diapers, clothing and hygiene items.

“Initially we thought it was going to be something very small,” Cooley said. “We already had 40,000 tons of donations.”

They’ve filled Cooley’s office’s warehouse in Ogden, another warehouse in Springville, and a third in Las Vegas. Cooley and Barros met fellow Brazilians along the way

“We never thought that the community, it is so big in Utah”,” Cooley said.

stacked boxes in a warehouse

Two Utah women who have gathered three warehouses full of donations for Brazil flooding victims are in need of help to get collected items to those in need after a transportation arrangement fell through. (Shelby Lofton, KSL TV)

They had arrangements with an airline to transport the goods to Brazil, but those fell through.

“Unfortunately, because of the amount and because the amount they already have accumulated there in Florida, they are not able anymore to come here to pick up donations,” Cooley said.

They’re desperate for financial donations to help cover the transportation costs for at least three trucks. They’ve set up a GoFundMe* for support.

Cooley said they’ve partnered with organizations that are expecting their donations.

“Now we got to get it to Miami and then we go get it from Miami all the way to Brazil,” Ward said.

Cooley said Brazil isn’t getting the help other countries receive. She and Barros believe they can make a difference one truckload at a time.

“Let’s get together, the world, because we are one, right? Everybody’s human,” Cooley said.

The women said they want to focus on getting this shipment of donations to Brazil. Then, they’ll evaluate the need after that and may take in more donations later on.

Anyone who would like to help or has questions can reach them at Angela@z-clear.com.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Brazilian women living in Utah need help transporting donations to Florida