No sooner had the international community started fundraising for earthquake relief efforts in Morocco did we start to hear about floods devastating communities in Libya. It can be so easy to feel powerless.
Climate change is drastically exacerbating the frequency and intensity of natural disasters but English Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Dawlish Water were ready to help. They had already raised £500, (currently about $613 USD), for survivors of the Moroccan earthquake when they decided to do more. They donated it all to ShelterBox, earmarked for Morocco, and started to do more fundraising. Within another week they had raised more than £250.
The Rotary Club of Eugene Metropolitan has a small club fund called the Immediate Needs Grant. Any club member can propose a program, project, or support for anyone in crisis. We unanimously approved $250 to donate to ShelterBox for their Moroccan relief efforts in solidarity with our fellow Rotarians in England. No grant application is required. No budget documentation is required. Although we appreciate updates we do not have any required reporting for funding recipients.
These grants are small with a cap set at $250. But because there is no bureaucracy or paperwork to navigate we are able to respond to crises quickly.
Since its implementation many years ago we have funded physical therapy for earthquake victims in Oaxaca, transportation funding for stranded Chinese exchange students, personal alarms for elderly victims of Asian-American hate crimes and violence in San Francisco’s Chinatown, textbooks for young Afghan women attending the U of O, and several other urgent or time-sensitive projects.
A global thank you to Past President Paul Shang for creating this responsive funding, giving us one more opportunity to be People of Action.
Rotary International recommends visiting ShelterBox’s site here for more information or to contribute more to our friends in areas affected by natural disasters and crises.