NewsPinellas County


Wine with a Purpose: How one Safety Harbor entrepreneur is saving orphans one glass at a time

Helping orphans with wine
Maria Indenbosch, Founder and CEO of Humanity Wine Co.
Posted at 6:11 AM, Oct 13, 2021

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — In 2012, Maria Indenbosch took a trip to Argentina that changed her life. What she witnessed on the ground led her to form the non-profit Humanity Del Sol.

Since that time, Indenbosch has been on a mission to support youth in Argentina that suffer from high trauma, abuse, poverty, and lack of education.

"But yeah, these kids, at 18 years old, when they age out, there's no program for them," Indenbosch said. "If these kids get out at 18, they have nowhere to go. They have no job. They have no skills. There's a lot of anxiety around what do I do to survive? These kids were high trauma, if you will, 'throwaways.' They're not even orphans. They have parents, but unfortunately, the situation was so traumatic that the children had to be taken away. Whether it's sex trafficking, molestation, or severe abuse, they had to be taken away."

That's how Humanity Del Solwas born—helping adults 18 to 24 who have aged out of the system. They are assigned mentors to help them finish their education, gain skills, and find purpose in life for a second chance.

Before the pandemic, a bulk of the donations to fund the charity came from travel packages. Donors would pay to take trips to Argentina to experience the culture and learn about the non-profit. But, that all stopped in 2020 as the novel coronavirus burned through the world.

"We lost anywhere from, you know, several hundreds of thousands in revenue, which was tough, but it allowed us to pivot," Indenbosch said. "Okay. Now, we're going to focus on the wine company.

Humanity Wine Co. is a for-profit business that gives away 50% of its proceeds to support its work in Argentina.

"We coin them on 'winethropists,'" Indenbosch said. "So, they are wine lovers who dare to change the world. Exactly. So every day, you know, if you have a glass of wine with dinner, or on the weekends, you're enjoying it, but yeah, you're changing the lives of youth. And it's all different wines from all over the world. But, the fun thing is it is exclusively family-owned vineyards."

ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska Zoomed with workers on the ground at the non-profit in Argentina. They said the pandemic created a need to take care of even more orphans with fewer resources.

"Their main backgrounds have to do with high trauma. So many of them have been taken from their families because of abuse, violence, neglect," Natalia Vergara, the Youth Program Coordinator at Humanity Del Sol, said. "We have over 700,000 youth that goes through that situation here in Argentina."

Vergara introduced ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska to Selene Carrison, a student in the program.

Carrison said she's been in and out of homes since she was 13-years old. Now 20, Carrison said she has a purpose. Carrison's been in the program for a year. Her mentor is helping her finish school and get here on a path to success.

"It was very good cause it was a big change in my life because I was able to get out into the world," Carrison said. "I want to study and advance into a profession that I like. That's my greatest dream."

Carrison hopes to be a therapist to help others in need.

The stories of hope inspire others to get involved. For example, Safety Harbor resident Roxanne Connor took two trips to Argentina. She is now on the board for Humanity Del Sol.

"I feel wonderful its changed my life. It has had such an impact on me to help down there and help the kids and see the changes that are happening. I just feel really good about everything," Connor said. "And I just think any, any change we can make to someone's life is important. And, that's my, my blessing, my calling from God. He wants me to give, and that's what I do."

So the next time you raise a glass of wine at dinner or celebrate a special event, Indenbosch wants you to think about where it's from and who it's supporting.

"We have some incredible wine. We have wine that is from $14 to $300. So we have a palette and a collection opportunity for every wine drinker out there," Indenbosch said. "And, instead of going to your local, you know supermarket or you know those big box stores that just serve your run of the mill wine. So let's go to Humanity Wine Co. and shop there and change the world."