A Plea for More Support for Long-Term Recovery Efforts in Haiti
PDG Jack Blane filed this report addressing the need for additional District 6440 support for Haiti relief efforts:
As reported in a recent district newsletter, Rotarians in our district provided strong support several months ago in response to the Haiti earthquake, primarily in the form of ShelterBoxes (top district in the world!). At that time, we also committed to support long-term recovery to be funded by a District 6440 Haiti Relief Fund. The lack of daily news about the conditions in Haiti creates the feeling that life in Haiti has returned to normal. That is definitely not true.
Hundreds of thousands of people are living in worn-out tents, schools are not functioning, and thousands of people are crippled from earthquake injuries. Those priorities are the focus of Rotary’s Haiti Task Force, a Rotary-managed group that is carefully prioritizing projects and assuring that funds are spent as intended – rigorous controls provide sound project management to assure compliance with Rotary Foundation policies.
Due to the continuing substantial long-term survival needs throughout Haiti, the District 6440 Haiti Relief Committee is encouraging clubs to raise funds through January 2011. Working with the 19 Rotary clubs in Haiti, District 6440 will provide assistance in the areas of highest priority needs. We know that 80 percent of the schools were destroyed and education is a top priority of the Haitian government. Also there are 4,000 amputees that are in need of assistance, requiring prosthetics, and more than 1.2 million are homeless.
The committee has set a tentative district goal of $150,000, based on each club setting its own goal. NOTE: Each club president should advise Governor Bruce of its club's goal as soon as possible.
The members of the Haiti Relief Committee are available for club programs and assistance, as needed. Feel free to contact the following: PDG Tony Tolbert, PDG Terry Mueller, PDG Richard Beals, PDG Gordon Schrubbe, PDG Tadashi Enami, PDG Michael Ericksen, and PDG Jack Blane. They are all listed in the District Directory.
All funds should be marked "Haiti Relief" and sent to William G. Matthews, 200 W. Higgins Road, Suite 301, Schaumburg, IL 60195.
We are also looking into the possibility of obtaining a matching grant through the Donor Advised Fund within The Rotary Foundation. This fund was established to streamline the flow of contributions from Rotarians to assist the victims of the earthquake that took place in January 2010.
A few years ago, District 6440 was able to make a substantial contribution to the Katrina disaster and we continue to receive heartfelt appreciation for our assistance. We are fortunate to know our financial support will be directed to the highest priority needs through reliable Rotary channels.
We hope your Club will join "The Home District" in helping provide for Haiti’s special needs.