On June 8, 2012, the Venezuelan government arbitrarily decided to move to New Orleans 19.542 voters originally registered to vote in the city of Miami.
More than 1.727 miles away and a 32-hour drive back and forth,
this move prevented a large number of voters from exercising their right to vote on the Presidential Elections which were be held on October 2012 and April 2013.
We decided to take concrete actions to defend our democratic right to vote
and that's why we created this initiative.
Our goal at the time, was to work together to defend Democracy by organizing a large team of volunteers and raising the necessary funds to bring as many Venezuelans as possible to New Orleans so that they could exercise their democratic right.
In total, more than $800,000 were raised and 2062 Venezuelans were
able to cast their vote.
Once we researched the different methods to achieve our goal and understand the local demographic,
we realized the importance of offering a free air travel solution that would help specifically the elderly, the disabled and those who would not be able to travel to New Orleans by other means.
We designed and developed digital piggy banks which were placed at different venues across South Florida
in order to help our fundraising effort.
The piggy bank featured Square-based donations via
credit card as well as a bill slot in order to allow
people to donate cash directly.
The design was modeled in Solidworks and prototyped at no cost to the Foundation by Concepto Studios, Inc.
We created a scalable method, in which passengers from the first plane, who were flying
thanks to the donations of the community, would in turn donate to pay for
the seats of the passengers on the second plane, and so on.
This strategy allowed us to raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars
required to charter a total of 7 planes in 2012 and 5 planes in 2013.
The result was something much bigger and meaningful than we ever dreamed of.