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Thursday, March 30, 2023

When someone needs aid, in rides the matchmaker, Kimmy Suki

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our best stories will appear in your inbox every Monday.
“Kimmy Suki” at the Yucatán Polo Club, where the annual Chicas for Charity event that she founded raises money for people in need. Photo: Laura Sánchez / Yucatán Magazine

I first met Kimberly Davin-DeGraff several years ago after she had established a Facebook group called “Yucatán Giving.” 

Also known as Kimmy Suki, the central-California native has a gift for rallying the community to help people in need. Someone needs a wheelchair? A refrigerator? Medical assistance? Kimberly would manage to match that person with someone ready to lend or donate a wheelchair, refrigerator, or medical assistance.

Kimberly came to Mérida with her ex-business partner, who is also her ex-husband, nearly 20 years ago to work a one-year stint in Yucatán in a chiropractic clinic and to learn Spanish. 

Kimmy Suki gathers volunteers to make good things happen. Photo: File

“We came with our two children, one cat, and one dog. We all fell in love with Mérida and never left,” she told us in a 2015 interview. In her younger years, she was a firefighter, then an EMT, then a paramedic. In Mexico, she and her ex-partner would go to the pueblos and give free chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy to injured people who couldn’t come into the city.

Her passion outside of YGO is horses, and even there, Kimberly found a way to connect that to fundraising for good causes. Her Chicas for Charity event, held since 2016 at the Yucatán Polo Club, is a major undertaking — but one that engages one community and benefits several others.

By 2018, the effort was turned officially into a non-governmental organization, Yucatán Giving Outreach AC, a registered charity that systematically delivers relief to the people who need it most. It is headquartered in Itzimná, where a charity thrift shop by the same name is always busy.

The 2023 Chicas for Charity event on the grounds of the Yucatán Polo Club brought together a light-hearted match and a festive creative hat contest. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Through YGO, 12,000 bags of food and clothing went to impoverished villages after storms Cristobal and Gamma and hurricane Delta. 

They have found housing for young people who have aged out of the orphanage. A shabby rest home for the elderly was given assistance. Women and children have been guided out of violent domestic situations. Then there are the art and English classes and holiday parties.

“I have always served people in some form or another,” she says.


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