By Pat Love | Pagosa Springs Rotary Club
In March, the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club set a goal to raise $10,000 in two weeks to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine and, due to your generous response, more than $25,000 was raised.
Now, 100 days later, we would like to give you examples of how these funds are being used.
Tjupa, a Ukraine resident and charter president of Rotary Club Kyiv International, woke Feb. 24 to the sound of heavy bombing. Within three days, numerous lives were lost and the infrastructure providing access to food and other essential goods was destroyed. Survival was at stake.
In the midst of chaos, Tjupa turned to Rotary for help. The response was immediate. Using funds from Rotary International and Rotary networks already in place, local groups began making food and medical supplies available. A lifeline was established and remains in effect today.
In the months following the onset of war, thousands like Tjupa have received aid through Rotary’s resources, which all start locally, just like they did in Pagosa Springs. Safe exit routes and bomb shelters have been identified, orphanages have been subsidized, abandoned pets rehomed and those with special needs have been safely evacuated. International funds have provided specific essentials like hemostatic tourniquets, sleeping bags, diapers, coats, first-aid kits, battery packs, as well as meals for workers to keep these supplies moving around the clock. One club found an abandoned shopping center for distribution. Another Rotary member provided a barn to store supplies.
Since 14 million Ukrainians have fled their homes and many to surrounding countries, Rotary is also providing aid to surrounding countries like Poland, Romania, Moldovia and Slovakia. Basic supplies are being sent by trains, planes and automobiles — not to mention ships and air carriers. The needs are great, but so is the outpouring of aid, which is now more than $15 million in contributions and an untold amount of volunteer hours. You are a part of that support.