How we began
The formation of United Aid Foundation (UAF) is an inspiring demonstration of what people from diverse backgrounds, professions and geographical locations can do when they come together and unite for the good of others in need.
When a powerful tsunami decimated Sri Lanka and Indonesia in 2005, Brother and sister, John and Elizabeth Alex traveled together to some of the hardest hit areas.
Elizabeth went as a journalist with the NBC affiliate in Kansas City, Missouri, John, as investment advisor from New York City, who happened to have friends who immigrated to the United States from Sri Lanka.
They traveled with the international aid organization Heart to Heart International, witnessing first hand the destruction, homelessness, and desperation of innocent people who had lost everything they had, including husbands, wives, and in some cases all of their children.
The experience left both Alex’s wanting to do more, not only for the suffering Sri Lankans, but others who might need help as well.
After returning to New York, John turned to Sandra Nuñez, an attorney from New York City and native of Sri Lanka, to form a new not-for-profit agency and transform the vision of UAF into a reality.
UAF quickly set up fundraising events, and used proceeds to help rebuild three villages (over 2,000 people) in the ravaged Tamil area of Sri Lanka, where no international aid had arrived. Sandra’s many connections back home cleared the way. From there they sponsored an orphanage that UAF still helps today.
When Hurricane Katrina barreled into the southeast coast of the United States, UAF rallied again, delivering medical supplies and water to Heart to Heart, International doctors in the area. Because of UAF’s vast relationships through out the country, we were able to get the trucks through the back routes of cities and towns before other agencies.
In 2009, Elizabeth brought a house full or Romanian orphans into UAF. A small group of volunteers had been trying to run a home in Romania known as Deb’s House, but could no longer make ends meet. Through UAF guidance and structure, Deb’s House is flourishing, much to the delight of the children who live there, and the donors who had been giving to them for years.
UAF also sponsors Hope Grammar School in Lahore, Pakistan. Hope Grammar School includes Christian and Muslim children in an effort to foster peace and turn children away from violence as a solution to problems.
UAF is also committed to integrating children who were forced to serve as soldiers during Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war back into society with the aid group Bridge to peace.