More than 600 volunteers of all ages joined together to pack more than 110,000 meals for children in Haiti who are suffering from malnutrition over the weekend in a recent event organized by the Pura Vida Club and held at the New Canaan High School cafeteria.

During the weekend of May 15 and 16, the Pura Vida Club, a student-run arm of the organization, organized the event. More than 600 volunteers packed more than 100,000 meals that were then shipped to Haiti.

Based on the success of the event, the Pura Vida Club plans to hold another meal-packing event in six months to continue to bring vital food supplies to hungry children.

The PuraVida Club meal packing event was sponsored by The Bank of New Canaan, Walter Stewarts Market, Karl Chevrolet, and Gregory W. Sanford, D.M.D. The PuraVida Club is still seeking to raise donations to cover the cost of the project, which, at 17 cents per meal, comes to more thaan $17,000.

To make a donation, interested parties are asked to visit

Pura Vida for Children to Host Fundraiser for hungry, orphaned children

Pura Vida for Children will host its first annual fundraising event on Saturday, June 5, with an evening that will include cocktails, dinner (catered by the Latin American restaurant Brasitas), music, dancing and stories of hope. The event will take place at Grace Farms, formerly Winsome Farms, in New Canaan, and Pura Vida urges the community to come to the event, to learn about and help support the needs of hungry and orphaned children.

Founded in 2006 by New Canaan resident, Sharon Knechtle, Pura Vida for Children is a local not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to creating awareness, inspiration and funding to support the needs of children who have been orphaned, abandoned or subjected to abuse, often through sex trafficking and exploitation. Pura Vida mobilizes volunteer and financial resources to meet critical needs and create sustainable income that will provide children and teens with opportunity, an education and marketable skills.

At this time, Pura Vida is focused on the needs of children in the U.S., Costa Rica, Ghana, Southeast Asia and most recently, Haiti.

"There are hundreds of thousands of hungry, orphaned and abused children out there. It is our goal to make a difference in the lives of these children, so they can have the opportunity to live healthy and meaningful lives.," said Knechtle. "Over the past four years, and with the help of partner organizations like Love146, we have been blessed by the support of a growing number of individuals in our community. This event is just one of the many ways that we hope to raise continuing awareness, inspiration and funding for our cause."

Tickets for the fundraiser on June 5 are on sale for $125 per person and are available by contacting Christine Betack at 203-966-4817 or For more information on Pura Vida, visit