As you all are aware, the famine in East Africa has been an issue that I have been following since its beginning several months back. With the collaboration with Food Republic, I participated in a Live Twitter Chat that helped raise awareness and funds for relief efforts to famine victims. But the problem is not yet over, in fact it is worsening. In just one short month, the number of famine regions in Somalia declared by the United Nations has risen from four to six! Clearly, the East Africans falling victims to the drought and famine are increasing at an alarming rate, yet it receives little mainstream news coverage. Also, with news of aid for famine victims not reaching affected areas because of insurgents, many of us in the West and other areas are wary of donating money to nonprofit organizations. As I've mentioned before, I am a huge supporter of the relief efforts currently in place by the UN World Food Programme and UNICEF, as they do a phenomenal job, but I also wanted to make a more personal impact in relief efforts for famine victims in East Africa, especially in my homeland of Ethiopia.
This is why my wife Maya and I will be hosting a special brunch, "Brunch for the Horn of Africa," at our home in Harlem to raise money for the famine. Our brunch is open to the public and will be held on Sunday, September 18th, between 1pm and 4pm. With the support from Food Republic, Tadias, Urbanspoon, Paul Goerg Champagne, Radeberger Beer, and the Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, we will serve traditional American brunch items as well as a few Ethiopian dishes to spice up the menu. A suggested goodwill contribution of $50 per person, and a raffle of various items will take place throughout the event, offering guests a chance to contribute further and win some fun prizes from my industry pals.
All money raised will be for famine victims in East Africa. Once contributions are collected, Maya will personally travel to the famine regions in Ethiopia and on the Ethiopian/Somali border, and through her family and contacts, she will distribute food, vitamins, medicine, and clothes bought with your contributions. She will document her interaction with victims suffering from the famine and drought so you can see how your contribution will save lives and directly impact those who she helps. You will be able to follow her progress on my website (MarcusSamuelsson.com) and through the hash tag #MayaHaile on my Twitter feed (@MarcusCooks).
Please help us make a difference and show kindness to our East African friends during their current and frantic time of need, by joining us for "Brunch for the Horn of Africa" on September 18th, from 1pm-4pm. You can make a reservation on my website, by clicking here. Once you've made your reservation, you will be sent a confirmation email with all the specific details. I hope to be able to welcome you all in my home as we work together to help feed the famine victims in East Africa.