May 2, 2015 By Kim Brown
Among apples, doughnuts and pies, a 27-year-old Sunnyside Greenmarket vendor, who grew up in Kathmandu, placed a sign that read ‘Pray for Nepal’ and a collection jar.
By 2 p.m., the Breezy Hill Orchard employee raised nearly $100 for victims of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake that claimed at least 6,500 lives and left more than 14,000 people injured.
“A lot of people have been asking where the money is going,” said the man, who goes by the name Lobo. “It’s going straight to the people who need it.”
Money that is collected at the Skillman Avenue Greenmarket on Saturdays goes directly to HeartBeat Kathmandu, a Nepalese-based organization.
So far, HeartBeat organizers in New York City have collected and shipped out 4,500 pounds of medical supplies and goods to hard-hit areas through a network of Nepalese organizations and volunteers.
There is still much work to be done. The death toll continues to rise, as entire villages have been flattened and more than a million people have been left homeless. There are reports of massive shortages of food, medicine and water supplies.
Lobo moved to Sunnyside from Kathmandu as a teenager. He now lives in Astoria and for the past three years has been working at the Saturday farmers market, a job he loves.
“I get to be out here and talk to all these people,” he said. “I’ve watched the children grow up.”
Although he has many cousins and friends in Nepal, none were killed, which he attributes to their fortune of living in modern and well-built developments.
“It’s the poor who were most affected,” he said, and urged people to give what they can.
“Be confident your money is going 100% to a good cause. You’re helping people,” he said.
For more information or to donate visit: http://www.gofundme.com/heartbeatny