Rotarians respond in the Bahamas

Report compiled by Diana White, past district governor, and District 7020 Rotarians

The destruction left behind by Hurricane Dorian is devastating. In parts of the Bahamas, literally everything is gone, replaced by piles of rubble where homes once stood. Roads blocked with debris and thousands on thousands left homeless and in need of supplies.

As Rotarians in District 7020, one of two districts that cover the Caribbean and hard-hit Bahamas, we immediately switched into assistance mode. Significant donations of supplies are funneling in from various local efforts and through international disaster relief agencies. Continue reading

Family of Rotary helps after wildfire

At the District 5160 conference

Pam Gray and her husband, Brian, (third and fourth from right) at the District 5160 conference in 2018.

By Pam Gray, Rotary Club of Paradise, California, USA

I grew up in a small family. My parents were both only children – that means I have no aunts, uncles or first cousins. As a child, my entire immediate family could sit around a dining table set for eight. My four grandparents, my parents, my sister and I filled the table. There was no additional ‘kids’ table!

Fortunately, my dad was a member of the Rotary Club of Paradise. Our Rotary family consisted of five families, all of similar age, so we had plenty of celebrations with this extended family growing up. Continue reading

What it’s like to escape a wildfire

The Gray’s home after the fire.

By Pam Gray, past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Paradise, California, USA 

While 77 days may seem like a long time, it has been a flash for those of us who were living in Paradise, California, and the surrounding foothills on 8 November, 2018.

My husband and I are members of the Rotary Club of Paradise. I was a District 5160 Governor during the 2014-15 Rotary year, and my husband, Brian, is currently club president. Brian was known as the “First Dude” as we traveled to visit 71 Rotary clubs the year I was governor. Continue reading

How Rotary is assisting recovery in Puerto Rico

By José Lucas Rodríguez, governor of Rotary District 7000 (Puerto Rico)

Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, which is distinguished by its natural beauties, the talent of Puerto Ricans in music, arts, and sports, and above all for the warmth of its people.

But the so-called island of Enchantment was transformed by what already has been classified as the most catastrophic event in the history not only of Puerto Rico, but of the United States. More than a month after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, our people are still struggling to recover from the impact of this natural phenomenon, which left so much desolation in its wake. Continue reading

How Rotarians are providing disaster relief

Heart to Heart medical director Rick Randolph treats a child at a mobile clinic in Florida. Photo courtesy District 5710

By Pat O’Donnell, public image chair for Rotary District 5710 (Kansas, USA)

The 45 Rotary clubs in my district have come together to support Heart to Heart International’s disaster relief efforts in Texas and Florida. Immediately after Hurricane Harvey devastated the gulf coast of Texas with over 51 inches of rain, followed by the damage caused in Florida by Hurricane Irma, our Rotary members opened their hearts and checkbooks to help. Continue reading

Visit to new ShelterBox HQ in Truro

Operations Coordinator Sam Hewett briefs Newton

Operations Coordinator Sam Hewett (left) briefs MP Sarah Newton on preparations to help people fleeing Mosul. Photo © Thom Axon

By Sarah Newton, Rotary Club of Falmouth, and a Member of Parliament representing Truro and Falmouth, United Kingdom

In July, Cornwall-based international disaster relief charity ShelterBox moved its headquarters to Truro, keeping its warehousing and aid-packing base in Helston.

On 10 November, I made my first visit to Falcon House, now that ShelterBox has relocated most if its staff, including its operational and fundraising teams, into my Continue reading

Reflections from earthquake stricken Italy

Earthquake damage central Italy

Geraniums hang from the railing in front of a house destroyed by the earthquake in central Italy.

By Luca Della Volta, Charter President of Rotary E-Club 2042 Italia and 2016-17 Service Projects Committee Chair. ( Read it in Italian )

I wanted to write about how much love and support Rotary is bringing to the areas of Italy devastated by the recent earthquake. But my words fail me, so I have to first write from the heart about what I have seen.

I feel as if death has entered me. My lungs inhale the dust of the earth. My feet walk amid debris. My hands touch stone that suddenly gave way, smashing hopes and dreams. Continue reading

5 amazing projects on Rotary Showcase

Rotary members in Tamil Nadu, India, disburse supplies to people affected by flooding.

Rotary members in Tamil Nadu, India, hand out supplies to people affected by flooding. Read more below.

New Zealand Rotary members are putting food on the tables of low-income families this holiday season by teaming up with the Salvation Army to collect and distribute fresh produce from local growers.

Starting several years ago, the Rotary Club of Drury, Auckland, New Zealand, annually contacts growers to set up a time in mid-December to collect produce for distribution, and then coordinates with the Salvation Army. The club lines up three large trucks, each with a crew of three Rotary members, to drive to different regions to collect the produce, which the Salvation Army then distributes to families during the holidays. Continue reading

Rebuilding smiles in earthquake-torn Nepal

Rotary members in Nepal build shelters for earthquake survivors.

Rotary members in Nepal build shelters for earthquake survivors.

By Roshan Maharjan, Rotary E-Club of District 3292 Nepal

I was finishing a lecture at the Academia International College in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal, on 25 April when the ground began to shake with increasing violence and I had trouble standing on my own. Supporting myself on the side of a computer table, I noticed my students were very frightened. As I consoled them as best I could, I also worried about my mother, brother, sister, and wife and children. It wasn’t until I got the text from them that all was OK that I could breathe a sigh of relief, but I was suffering from a terrible headache. The earthquake was 7.9 in magnitude. Continue reading

Fighting malnutrition with special peanut butter formula

A child in Sierra Leone eats some of the specially developed peanut butter formula.

A child in Sierra Leone eats some of the specially formulated peanut butter.

By Rotary Voices staff

Severe acute malnutrition kills millions of children around the world every year. Those who don’t die often suffer from stunted growth and other health problems. More children between the ages of one and three die of inadequate food intake every year than from HIV/AIDS.

In Sierra Leone, Rotary members are partnering with more than 20 clubs in the United States and Canada to prevent some of these deaths by supplying jars of specially developed peanut butter, known as “Ready to Use Therapeutic Food,” to treat children suffering from malnutrition. The project, funded by a global grant from the Rotary Foundation, began in January of 2013 and is continuing through September. Continue reading