Rotarians Mobilize to aid Hurricane Katrina victims



Sept. 2nd, 2005 -Use DSG funds for disaster relief efforts

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many Rotarians are interested in developing projects to alleviate the suffering and hardship of individuals in the affected communities.

District Simplified Grants (DSG) are one means by which Rotarians can be actively involved in disaster relief efforts. DSGs are administered by district leadership and can be used to support local or international humanitarian projects that are conducted by Rotarians.

Many of the needed items, such as basic necessities and medical care, can be provided through a District Simplified Grant. Non-financial participation and direct oversight of grant funds is essential for all DSG-funded projects. DSG funds can be used for disaster relief efforts as long as Rotarians clearly identify the proposed grant-funded expenditures and Rotarian participation. DSG funds cannot be used as straight donations to a disaster-relief organization for unspecified purposes.

RI encourages the development of humanitarian projects in response to the disaster that meet DSG criteria. There are many in need of assistance following Hurricane Katrina, and RI believes Rotarians will rise to the challenge to identify the needs and work to alleviate them.

To determine the availability of DSG funds in your district, contact a district Rotary Foundation committee chairperson or a district grants subcommittee chairperson. E-mail the humanitarian staff to discuss the eligibility of disaster relief projects.

Read more on District Simplified Grants.


Sept. 2nd, 2005 -In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, Rotary clubs and districts from throughout the affected Gulf Coast region and beyond sprang into action to collect necessary food and supplies, raise money, and provide shelter to refugees. Based on preliminary reports coming in to Rotary International, Rotarians are responding en-masse to RI President Stenhammar's call to help communities affected by the disaster.

Districts in Louisiana and Missisippi have led the charge. Throughout out the area Rotarians are doing what they can to ensure the most affected regions are stable.

District 6820 (Missisippi) Governor Stuart Vance reported via e-mail that Rotary districts 6820 and 6840 (Louisiana) established a relief fund and have the mechanics in place to collect money. Funds will be available to all affected. Donations may be sent to Rotary Katrina Fund, Bill Simmons, District Treasurer, 627 Sherwood Road, Starkville, MS 39759.

District 6200 (Louisiana) Governor Don Chauvin reports that the district committee is holding a meeting on Friday, 2 September, to develop a course of action. Chauvin noted that the District 6200 Foundation will be accepting monetary contributions for hurricane aid. Checks may be mailed to Janice Bradshaw, P.O. Box 44365, Lafayette, LA, 70504, USA.

Rotary clubs on Marco Island in District 6960 (Florida) are collecting donations as well. Rotary club secretaries and presidents can consult their Official Directory for club contact information.

In Tennessee, Rotarians from the Rotary Clubs of Oak Ridge-Breakfast and Oak Ridge have parked a truck at a local Wal-Mart and are seeking donations of hygiene and health necessities. Water, paper products, personal hygiene products, diapers, baby formula, and canned foods are being accepted in a weekend-long effort. Working with the American Red Cross, the group will bring the truck to a designated relief center in the affected area.

Farther from the immediate fray, the Rotary Club of Decatur, Illinois, is collecting summer clothes in an effort to meet basic needs of victims. Donation centers are being set up at a local mall and radio station.

For more information on relief efforts and how you can help, please visit RI's World Community Service Disaster Relief page.


Sept. 2nd, 2005 - Gulf Coast districts set up Katrina relief accounts, ask for financial help

Even while reeling from the catastrophe and tragedy of Katrina, Rotarian survivors are doing their best to cope and set up relief accounts.
District 6840 Governor Neil Alford, who days ago evacuated his home in Slidell, Louisiana, is now sheltered in Tupelo, Mississippi — some 250 miles away. His district, which includes the city of New Orleans, has been decimated by the disaster.

"We do not have [electrical] power in any of my district, so communications have almost been reduced to zero," said Alford.

However, Alford is working his way around the chaos. He now has a new mobile phone number and is teaming with other Rotarians in districts 6200 and 6820 to get funds and aid to those in desperate need.

"We're getting calls from Rotarians throughout the U.S. and even Central America asking how they can help," said Alford. "What we need most are funds right now."

District 6200 Governor Donald P. Chauvin, located in Abbeville, Louisiana, echoed these concerns.

"Our most pressing need is feeding these people and giving them water. But at this point, it's much easier for Rotarians to send us funds so that we can buy water locally and distribute it where the greatest need exists, rather than for them to ship us product," said Chauvin.

Funds can be sent to Rotary International District 6200 Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 44365 Lafayette LA 70504. For more information e-mail Joe Hidalgo of the Rotary Club of Opelousas-Sunrise.

Another fund, established by districts 6840 and 6820 (central Mississippi) is accepting wire transfers. Donations may be sent to Rotary Katrina Fund, Bill Simmons, District Treasurer, 627 Sherwood Rd., Starkville, MS 39759; wire transfers: Route #065300486, Account #55360036. For more information and guidelines, contact Past District 6820 Governor Bill Foster.

Chauvin said that in numerous instances, Rotary clubs have joined forces with other service clubs to raise money and collect food and water.

"People who are coming out of New Orleans and other devastated communities won't have homes for a very long time," he said.


Donor advised fund accepting contributions for Hurricane Katrina relief

Sept. 2nd, 2005 - Rotary zones 29 and 30 have established the Katrina Relief Fund, a donor advised fund (DAF) with The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, to help streamline the flow of contributions from Rotarians looking to assist victims of the hurricane disaster in the southern United States.

A DAF is an innovative way for individuals and Rotary-affiliated groups, such as clubs, districts, and zones, to create a separate investment account with the Foundation that is earmarked exclusively for charitable giving.

Comprising 24 Rotary districts in 12 southern and Midwestern U.S. states, zones 29 and 30 include all the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

A committee identified by the leadership in the two zones will work with local Rotary clubs and districts, as well as emergency relief agencies to meet the most pressing needs of people in the affected areas.

Checks should be earmarked for "Katrina Relief Fund" (in the MEMO line) and made payable to "TRF DAF". All checks should be addressed and mailed to: Mr. Clint McGowan, TRF DAF, The Ayco Company, 855 Route 146, Suite 120, Clifton Park, NY 12065

Contributions to this account can only be accepted in U.S. dollars and are tax deductible for U.S. citizens. No Rotary Foundation recognition will be awarded for contributions to the Katrina Relief Fund.

Directors of the fund are RI Director Robert A Stuart Jr.; Immediate Past RI Vice President John Germ; Duane Sterling, a past general manager of the Foundation; Donald Collette, a past Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator, and Kenneth Schuppert, a Major Gift Advisor for the Foundation.

Together, the directors bring outstanding experience and qualifications related to their responsibilities as custodians of the relief fund, including law, engineering, electrical power systems, management of disaster programs, and fund supervision.


Sept. 1, 2005 Texas District 5890 was spearheading relief efforts before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, Rotary clubs and districts from throughout the affected Gulf Coast region and beyond sprang into action to collect necessary food and supplies, raise money, and provide shelter to refugees.

Based on preliminary reports coming in to Rotary International, Rotarians are responding en-masse to RI President Stenhammar's call to help communities affected by the disaster.

" I am saddened to hear of the recent hurricane devastation along the Gulf Coast and send my sincere condolences to the communities affected by this disaster. During this time of need, many Rotarians have contacted Rotary International World Headquarters inquiring how they can help. In order to allow Rotarians the opportunity to assist your communities, please contact us with information regarding any local relief efforts being undertaken by clubs in your area so that we may share this information with the Rotary community via the World Community Service Disaster Relief section of the RI Web site.

A description of your project, including Rotarian contact information for local relief efforts, may be sent to the World Community Service program coordinator in the International Service and RI Awards section. Rotarians wishing to contribute funds and/or donated goods to hurricane victims will be able to visit the Web site to view a posting of all club and district relief efforts. As always, when organizing your club or district's response to a local or international disaster, we recommend that Rotarians work closely with an experienced disaster relief organization such as the International Federation of the Red Cross. You have the support of Rotarians and RI staff around the world as you face this disaster". Sincerely, Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, RI Pres

Louisiana districts 6190 and 6200 have led the charge. District 6190 Governor Bob Maloy reported that Rotarians are engaged in relief efforts throughout New Orleans, a city that has been devastated by flooding, leaving thousands without shelter, food, or water.

District 6200 Governor Don Chauvin reports that the district committee is holding a meeting on Friday, 2 September, to develop a course of action. Chauvin noted that the District 6200 Foundation will be accepting monetary contributions for hurricane aid. Checks may be mailed to Janice Bradshaw, P.O. Box 44365, Lafayette, LA, 70504, USA.

Rotary clubs on Marco Island in District 6960 (Florida) are collecting donations as well. Rotary club secretaries and presidents can consult their Official Directory for club contact information.

In Tennessee, Rotarians from the Rotary Clubs of Oak Ridge-Breakfast and Oak Ridge have parked a truck at a local Wal-Mart and are seeking donations of hygiene and health necessities. Water, paper products, personal hygiene products, diapers, baby formula, and canned foods are being accepted in a weekend-long effort. Working with the American Red Cross, the group will bring the truck to a designated relief center in the affected area.

Farther from the immediate fray, the Rotary Club of Decatur, Illinois, is collecting summer clothes in an effort to meet basic needs of victims. Donation centers are being set up at a local mall and radio station.

Prior to the hurricane, District Governor Charles A. Thorp contacted neighboring districts to determine needs and sent out a challenge to each of the Rotarians in his district to give US$20 each for the cause. "We are now collecting money hand over fist," says Thorp. "People have gone way beyond the challenge."

Thorp says the money will be dispersed to District 6200 to steward the funds where they are needed most. To contribute, send checks to Rotary 5890 Charities, 121 E. 16th St., Houston, TX 77008. Rotarians interested in collaborating with the district may contact DG Charles Thorp.

Thorp also reported that clubs throughout the district have formed committees to collect food, money, and clothing in anticipation of the 25,000-30,000 refugees en route to the Astrodome. On 11 September, clubs in the district will run a weeklong blood drive.

Rotarians from around the region and the world are teaming up with 5890. Rotarians in Florida will send two, 60-container loads of food and clothing to the district, while British and Irish clubs will send two shipments of 100 Shelterboxes — portable shelters that house 1,000 each — to help displaced communities in Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. View Shelterbox website.

The Rotary Club of Greenfield, Indiana, raised more than US$1,800 at their weekly Rotary club meeting. The money has been earmarked for relief efforts of District 5890 to help refugees headed toward the Astrodome, now being used as a shelter. "Things are moving very fast," says Thorp. "The generosity of people has been amazing."


Portions of thse articles written by Joseph Derr and David Schober, R.I. News, Article and pictures courtesy of eClub NY1

Editor's note: View the affected Gulf Coast areas on this map maintained by NOA.

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