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

Addressing women’s health needs in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

Rotary members and family pack health kits to distribute.

Rotary members and family pack health kits to distribute.

By Pamela Godoy, past president of the Rotary Club of Mandaluyong-Pasig-San Juan, Philippines

Not long after Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) made its first landfall on 8 November, Rotary members in District 3800 began mobilizing donations to help the relief efforts.

Instead of the usual items for relief packs (canned goods, instant noodles, etc.), the members of my Rotary club decided to take a different approach and focus on Continue reading

New England Rotarians bring Christmas to Lac Megantic

Rotarians deliver Christmas gifts in Lac Megantic. Photo courtesy of Marty Helman

Rotarians deliver Christmas gifts in Lac Megantic. Photo courtesy of Marty Helman

By Marty Helman, past governor of District 7780 (parts of Maine and New Hampshire, USA) 

Lac Megantic in southern Quebec made headlines for all the wrong reasons last July when a train filled with crude oil derailed in the town’s central business district. The resulting fire destroyed the town’s economic base, killed 47, and 24 local children lost one or both parents. In the wake of the disaster, Rotarians in District 7780 across the border in southern Maine and coastal New  Hampshire geared up to help.   Continue reading

Tents meet basic housing needs in tornado’s aftermath

David Shirley with one of the tents ShelterBox deployed for families left homeless by the tornado. Photo coutesy ShelterBox USA

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