District Governor Rae Shirer Shares Rotary District 5320's Response to Typhoon Relief

The following information was sent to President Ken Dever:

"I know that all of us are shocked and saddened to hear of the thousands of deaths and the mass destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippine islands. Although Rotary International is not a first responder or disaster relief organization, there are ways that Rotarians and Rotary clubs may reach out to the people of the Philippines:

District 5320 Response: Rotarians and members of the public who wish to contribute to the relief efforts in the Philippines may make a tax-deductible contribution to the Rotary District 5320 Charitable Foundation. All funds will be distributed to relief agencies already on the ground. Rotarians in the Rotary Club of Mission Viejo are in touch with family members and relief agencies and are coordinating efforts with the assistance of PDG Elaine Lytle of Australia. Make checks payable to:

Rotary District 5320 Charitable Foundation
Philippines Relief Fund
P.O. Box 3970
Orange, CA 92857-0970

Shelterbox: Your donation to Shelterbox USA will bring immediate relief to the disaster area. The Shelterbox team is already on the ground, providing temporary shelter and necessary supplies. It is easy to donate either online at http://www.shelterboxusa.org/ or by texting the word SHELTER to 20222 to make a $10 donation to our Philippines relief effort.

Rotary Clubs in the Philippines: A Rotarian in Quezon City reports:

"Twenty-four hours after typhoon Haiyan left the country, we are slowly beginning to realize the enormity of the death and destruction that it has left behind. Never in my lifetime have I ever seen such damage over such a large area brought about by just one typhoon. Even as I write, we have not been to get through to our friends in Southern Leyte like PDG Perok and PDS Anna. Communications and power are still down. Access even by motorcycles are difficult because of the massive debris that litters the roads and highways. The airports are all in bad shape. I still have to hear from our relatives in Tacloban and Iloilo City. The affected area is so huge that it covers the territories of at least 4 Rotary districts. Cebu was of course as also badly hit but not as much as the other areas. We expect thousands of lives lost and countless infrastructures destroyed. It will take time to rebuild."
Due to the extent of the damage, we again humble ourselves and request for help from our friends abroad.

Initial efforts are concentrated on rescue and relief assistance. I have been coordinating with my club and our DG Francis Rivera as to how best to approach this problem. It appears that at this time, the best source of relief supplies are from the Metro Manila area where food and bottled water are plentiful and can be purchased at much lower costs. We can then have them shipped via Navy vessels as most airports in the affected areas are still inaccessible. Most banks there are also closed. We have members in the club who are high ranking Naval officers who could help us get priority access to the vessels.
Tomorrow, there will be a general meeting of all the clubs in our D3780 to see how we can have a concerted relief effort. "
DG Rae Shirer continues:
In past disaster relief efforts, clubs and/or Districts have formed special donation funds to provide relief supplies. As the clubs and Districts in the unaffected areas develop a response plan, I will keep you informed of your opportunity to assist.

Filipino friends in our District: Rotary District 3780 (Philippines) has an e-club with numerous members based here our own District 5320. These Rotarians are communicating with their District and providing us with updates on how we can help. Visit the website of the Rotary E-Club of Global Kalinga for information and updates.

Rebuilding Through The Rotary Foundation:  Rotarians are focused on the long-term needs of people around the world. The people of the Philippines will need our assistance as they rebuild schools, water and sanitation facilities and communities. Your club may begin now to forge partnerships and apply for Global Grant funding for the rebuilding effort. Learn more about Global Grants at Rotary.org.

Now is the time to once again Engage Rotary and Change Lives.

Yours in Rotary Service,

Rae Shirer
District Governor



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