By Brian Rocha, a member of the Rotary Club of Goleta, California, and District 5240 Public Relations Chair
I’ve done a bit of traveling in my life. But recently, I got an urge to turn my travel experience into something much more rewarding. I wanted to travel not just to travel, but to make an impact and make a difference in the world.
I pitched the idea to my Rotary club and Rotary International, and they were in full support. Support in terms of moral support. I financed the trip myself. So last year, I began an eight month journey visiting several different countries around the world, capturing pictures and video throughout the experience. Continue reading →
Rotary members helped a father and son in Vermont return to their home following Tropical Storm Irene. Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox, Rotary Club of Hanover, New Hampshire
By Marilyn Bedell, Rotary Club of Lebanon-Riverside, New Hampshire, USA, and Jan McElroy, Rotary Club of Henniker, New Hampshire
Rotary members in the New England region of the United States are providing long-term recovery from Tropical Storm Irene, with the help of Rotarians around the globe. Here’s one story of the difference we are making.
Irene, a large and destructive tropical cyclone, affected much of the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States during late August 2011. In Vermont, Irene flooded most of the state’s rivers and streams and in many places stripped away the earth itself, leaving fields of stone and boulders where lush crops and gardens once stood. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed and thousands badly damaged. Continue reading →
David Johnson (right) and his son, Tom (left) with their sherpa on Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.
By John Hiscock, past president of the Rotary Club of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, England
The exciting thing about Rotary is being able to get to know and serve alongside some fantastic individuals, who help inspire us all to greater things. David Johnson, a member of my club, is one such person, who has captured the imagination of our local community, and inspired members of Rotary throughout our district with his fundraising dedication. Continue reading →
By Monty Audenart, aide to Rotary President Ron Burton and a Rotary Foundation Trustee
If there is one thing that’s evident in the Philippines, it’s that the people are resilient. When disasters like Typhoon Haiyan strike, there is grief, but then they get down to surviving. Continue reading →
Bill Decker, a Rotary club past president and ShelterBox Response Team member, with children in the Philippines.
By Bill Decker, past president of the Rotary Club of Philadelphia, chair of the ShelterBox USA Board, and a ShelterBox Response Team member
I am on the ground on the island of Bantayan in the province of Cebu, Philippines, where the eye of Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally called Yolanda) passed over just a couple weeks ago. The devastation is unlike anything I’ve seen, and ShelterBox’s ongoing efforts will be required to alleviate the suffering here of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people. This is not my first visit to the Philippines as a ShelterBox Response Team member. Continue reading →
David Shirley with one of the tents ShelterBox deployed for families left homeless by the tornado. Photo coutesy ShelterBox USA
By David Shirley, past governor of District 5770 (Oklahoma, USA) and a ShelterBox volunteer
Arriving in Bethel Acres and Little Axe, Oklahoma, in June, I was greeted by a scene of total devastation that was both overwhelming and heart breaking. Where there had once been homes and cars, there was now only rubble.
I had been asked by ShelterBox to assess the need for help. On my initial visit 22 days after the F-4 tornado struck, I actually missed the turn into the housing area as my attention was drawn to a mobile home standing in perfect condition, except for the completely absent roof. Continue reading →
Residents look over the damage in Moore, Oklahoma, USA, after a category 5 tornado touched down 20 May. Photo by Moore Monthly/themooredaily.com
By Brent Wheelbarger, a member of the Rotary Club of Moore, Oklahoma, USA
The tornado bears down on Moore, Oklahoma. Photo by Moore Monthly/themore
I sat in a bus along with other media outlets from around the world. It was the day after the tornado and we were being shuttled to the various damage sites so reporters could shoot video and file stories.
For many of them, it was a first glimpse at the extent of destruction … for me, it was a pit of emotion. Many of our neighborhoods gone. Our hospital destroyed. Hundreds of cars twisted, stacked, crushed. Innumerable businesses gutted. Two of our schools reduced to rubble. I didn’t like what I saw and I didn’t like how I felt. Continue reading →
By Bonnie F. Sirower, governor of District 7490 (New Jersey, USA)
On 10 November, with the help of nearly 150 volunteers, about a third of them new to Rotary, we sorted materials delivered by about five large trucks from all over the United States.
Then we packed pick-up trucks to the hilt with food, clothing, cleaning supplies, toiletries, baby stuff, and blankets and set off in many different directions to deliver these goods to more than 12 communities throughout the affected districts hit by Hurricane Sandy nearly two weeks ago. Continue reading →
People line up at the Nazareth House in lower Manhattan seeking supplies that will get them by for the day. Photo by George R. Camp, past district governor
By Joe Clark, past governor of District 7230 (Bermuda, part of New York, USA)
Hurricane Sandy has left its mark. In lower Manhattan, many elderly, infirmed, homeless and single parent families are suffering. They have no power, food, water, blankets, or warm clothing to get by, and with harsh weather approaching, they don’t have heat or other essentials to keep them going. They are at risk of illness or death from exposure.
Many of these people are invisible to the rest of us, hidden by the brick, steel, and concrete of shelters that hide them from public view. They are fighting to get by one day at a time. They visit the Bowery Mission and the Nazareth House, two charity organizations, on a daily basis to see what they can get to provide for themselves and their families. Continue reading →