The great news
SOS-Venezuela is now a 501c3 non-profit organization
Board of Directors of SOS-Venezuela
On behalf of the Board of Directors of SOS-Venezuela, Denver, I am proud to announce some great news. After meeting all the requirements needed by the United States Internal Revenue Service, SOS-Venezuela, Denver Chapter has been granted authority to operate as a non-profit organization, under Section 501 (c)(3) of IRS Code. This will allow us to achieve more effectively one of our objectives of providing economic assistance to those organizations providing support to the people struggling for survival in Venezuela. We are very hopeful this will allow us to channel the generosity, kindness and resources of people like you into efforts to alleviate severe shortages of essential medicines and food while the crisis persists.
Hard work of three years
Getting to this point has not been easy. It has taken three years of hard work.
Our organization was founded in 2014, and we began promoting activities in defense of human rights in response to the deteriorating political and humanitarian conditions that have prevailed in Venezuela for the past 18 years.
In those first rallies, we came out in defense of the political prisoners and human rights. Along with other Venezuelans around the world, we started an information sharing campaign to tell the world about the oppression in Venezuela. Thanks to the effort and work of many Venezuelans and other supporters, the situation in Venezuela has been brought up to the world stage and we have found support in the heart of many.
SOS Venezuela Denver took on the task of promoting the culture of Venezuela in the community at large. At the same time, we enabled small businesses to showcase their products and services at the Venezuelan Festival of 2015 and the Venezuelan Festival of 2016. Each of these festivals drew more than a thousand people to share the food, music and festivities in downtown Denver.
We have interacted with and built ties to other Hispanic communities in this region. For example, we were present at the San Cayetano Church Bazaar for a tribute that the parish paid to Venezuela. During that event, dance groups and Mexican musicians performed the music of Venezuela.
In July 2017, we assumed the responsibility of organizing the Venezuelan referendum pertaining to three important questions regarding the Constitutional Assembly and presidential powers. Venezuelans around the world voted in this referendum. We were the only polling location in Colorado, and on July 16, 2017 more than 1500 Venezuelan voters came to cast their vote, some from as far away as Nebraska.
SOS Venezuela, Denver has initiated outreach to state educational institutions. We are aware that many young Venezuelans are coming to the United States in the search of educational opportunities. Recently, we were invited it to participate in an event organized by the Community College of Denver to showcase the Venezuelan culture.
We have collaborated with U.S. Representative Mike Coffman from Colorado to inform him of the conditions in Venezuela, and he in turn has taken our cause to the US House of Representatives.
SOS Venezuela, Denver recently joined with The Chamber of the Americas, in an event titled, "Venezuela ... chaos at its Best …When Democracy Fails". This successful event held at the Westin Hotel in downtown Denver provided a forum to raise awareness about the poor conditions the citizens of Venezuela are experiencing today and is not being showcased through normal media.
I would like to take a moment to thank all those who have worked so hard to achieve these results. This has truly been a team effort, for which I must thank the current and former members of the Board of Directors. I want to thank our partners in the media for their loyal support over the past three years, including El Comercio de Colorado; Telemundo; Univision; Rodolfo José Cárdenas and the radio station 11:50 AM. Also, many thanks to all those who have participated as volunteers at our events - their passion and support has been vital to the success of the events. And finally, to the sponsors who have believed in us. We couldn’t do it without you.
The new commitment
With our new status as a tax-exempt charitable organization, we are embarking on a new level of commitment to our community. I would like to take a minute to describe our mission and some new goals moving forward.
We have defined our mission statement as:
“To promote Venezuelan and Hispanic culture, and to support those adversely impacted by the economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela."
Our vision is:
"To be an organization recognized for its values of commitment and solidarity with those Venezuelans and Hispanics in need.”
To meet our vision and mission, we are preparing our action plan for 2018. This plan includes: the Venezuelan Festival 2018; informational forums; activities to help young and adult Venezuelans living in Colorado with educational and job opportunities in the USA; and,
fundraising in partnership with causes in Venezuela that offer humanitarian help. It is no secret that Venezuelans are facing crisis on many fronts, including lack of medicine, lack of food, access to clothing and shelter, and part of our effort will be to help alleviate this situation.
To successfully bring our plan to fruition, we will need your help - your ideas, your vision, and your support.
Friends, we have a great challenge ahead. But, we are confident that we have at our disposal, a dedicated team, with talent; and the leadership, passion and enthusiasm necessary to carry out our mission.
I cannot close without thanking again all the sponsors that have contributed to make tonight’s event possible (Fairway Mortgage- Los Cabos Peruvian Rest- Geico- Margarita Bravo Interior design firm- Equity Real Estate- Swenson Law Office- Selten Group- Zen Wine & Spirits).
Also, we are very grateful to the Mile-High United Way for providing this venue, to Rodolfo Jose Cardenas, a great compatriot, and to all the volunteers who are with us today.
These same volunteers are available to discuss sponsorships, donations or other opportunities any of you may want to discuss.
I believe that the work we are undertaking is going to create change in the human dilemma. We appeal to the hearts of all of you so that together we can give love to many who need it.
Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.
Junta Directiva de SOS-Venezuela Denver: Jesus Sanchez Melean; Thanis Rincon; Rocio Cantelli; Sue Montoya; Marielena Pereira-Job; Rosalba Guerra.