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Philanthropic Hero Biography

Louisville, Kentucky

Considered one of the world's worst natural disasters, Hurricane Mitch left hundreds of thousands homeless, and killed an estimated 10,000 people across Central America in 1998. Longtime U.S. citizen and native Nicaraguan, Myrian Bodner, a Louisville, Kentucky homemaker, was devastated by the news. "It was absolutely horrible. All the crops were gone. It was going to take human resources to build the country up."

To alleviate the suffering, Myrian first worked with longtime friend and registered nurse, Jennifer Salazar, to gather medical supplies to ship overseas. First they approached Supplies Over Seas, a medical foundation, to provide them with medical essentials, then they asked UPS to fly the cargo to Managua free of charge. Shortly after, hospital beds, IV holders and other supplies arrived in Nicaragua to be distributed by the Red Cross. Myrian was there to help.

Upon completion of this first success, Myrian then reached out to the Mustard Seed Communities and her local church and collected $250,000 worth of other daily essentials which were later distributed by Food for the Poor. Aside from acting as a conduit for these works, Myrian and her family have financially supported each endeavor Myrian orchestrated. Myrian felt she had to help, "Those were faces that I knew - that I've known all my life."

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