District Disaster Relief Efforts
Our Disaster Relief Efforts for the First Half of the Rotary Year

People walk through the destruction in Roseau, Domenica on September 20. (photo: CNN)

People walk through the destruction in Roseau, Domenica on September 20. (photo: CNN)

Rotary Year 2017-2018 didn’t start off right. Natural disasters around the world and close to home seemed to occur on a daily basis. Hurricanes in our part of the world seemed to be the main problem, but there were no limits on disaster – fires in California and the western US, floods and typhoons in parts of Asia, and earthquakes in Mexico and elsewhere were devastating to those affected.

Your Rotary District – District 6900, decided years ago to establish a District Charitable Fund ... it is a 501 (c) 3 approved fund that can accept contributions for our work on a tax-deductible basis. We have used this fund over the years for various projects and for disaster relief. Thank you to all of the individual Rotarians and clubs who have made donations to this fund for disaster relief and other causes. So far, we have had contributions to the District Charitable Fund toward this Rotary year's disaster relief efforts of more than $13,000 ... and many clubs have contributed to relief efforts through other channels.

Our philosophy on disaster relief is the same as Rotary International’s policy. We believe that “first response” should be left to organizations that are set up to do first response – such as the Red Cross, Shelter Box, Aqua Box, and many others. Our Rotary district provides a collection point in the District Charitable Fund to allow collection of funds on a tax-deductible basis that can be distributed where the District and individuals specify.

The disasters that we chose to send our donations to so far this year, have been the Rotary Districts in Rotary Zones 33 and 34 that have been devastated by hurricanes. We have been asked by our Zone Director to focus on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands. We know these Rotary Clubs and their Presidents and District Governors. We meet with them at Rotary Zone Institute annually.

This year we met with the Governors from the Rotary Districts in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean during our Zone Institute in Orlando, Florida, in October 2017.They told us that their needs included projects to repair homes, schools, and water supplies for their families affected by hurricanes. To fulfill that request we have applied donations from individual Rotarians and Rotary Clubs of District 6900 to those projects. There have been individual donations from Rotarians to the District Charitable Fund for this effort and from Rotary Clubs. The Rotary Clubs of Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, North Atlanta, North Fulton, Muscogee, and Henry County have all contributed to our Charitable Fund.

These donations have been designated for Aqua Box – water filters for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and for home roofing projects requests by the Rotary Club of Dominica. Your donations gone to the Rotary Action Group – Disaster Network of Assistance (DNA – RAG) for the roofing projects in Dominica, and Aqua Box in England (run by Rotarians) to provide family and community water filters.Past District Governor David Edwards (who was our Rotary International President’s Representative to our District Conference several years ago) has served as our advisor in making these donations.

We know that many clubs in our District chose to make disaster relief donations on their own directly to those individuals and organizations that needed their help. We would like to tell your club’s story of disaster relief assistance and recognize your club for their help to the citizens of our world. Please share those stories with Jackie Cuthbert, our Newsletter Editor, at cuthbert@mindspring.com.


Posted by Steve Stanfield
January 9, 2018


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