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