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Dear Rotary Members

Dear Rotary members,

We hoped that 2021 would bring us relief from the virus sweeping through the world. Unfortunately, the horrifying second wave in India and the worsening situation in Brazil leaves us disconsolate. There is not a region which remains unscathed.

The development and distribution of vaccines brought hope, promise and a vision of a return to normalcy in some parts of the world. Unfortunately, much of the world is lagging far behind, aggravated by the recent outbreaks that are helping to drive daily infections worldwide to their highest levels yet.

With new cases topping 400,000 a day, a critical oxygen shortage, lack of hospital beds, and a mounting death toll, the situation in India shows no sign of waning, and help is urgently needed. Likewise, Brazil and numerous other countries are facing some of the same issues and there is great need for support.

We are calling on District Governors to provide assistance by sending supplies and equipment, such as oxygen concentrators and ventilators and anything else they require. We encourage you to work with clubs in your district and coordinate with Rotary clubs in the country in need to facilitate an in-kind donation of supplies, and coordinate shipping--either through a private company or paying to have supplies shipped yourself. You can also establish a joint effort by partnering with other clubs, districts, or local organizations.

Districts, clubs and members have already leapt into action by providing critical supplies and services, and thinking outside of the box to assist India, as well as Brazil. Examples include:

·

Rotary District 6400 and the Rotary Club of Essex are partnering with Rotary India’s COVID Task Force to coordinate donations that will go toward supplying oxygen concentrators. 

·

Rotary District 6900 is partnering with other organizations, including UPS, to ship medical equipment such as ventilators, anesthesia machines, oxygen and respiratory supplies to India.

·

The Rotary Club of Madras donated two 8-foot refrigerated trucks able to transport 2 million doses of vaccine, and Rotary Clubs in Kerala State have reported nearly 51,000 free vaccinations through Rotary Centers and camps over the last three weeks.

·

Rotarians in the United States are procuring and sending equipment to India. A club in Rockford, Illinois coordinated with a private aerospace company to send equipment via jet. 

·

A Rotary Youth Exchange alumni association has initiated a crowdfunding campaign to procure 50 oxygen concentrators.

·

In Brazil, Rotary members are looking into ways to improve the vaccine cold chain to better distribute COVID-19 vaccines, and help is needed to support the funding of refrigeration equipment. 

As Rotarians, we have come together in the name of service to support communities in inspiring ways throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are asking you to dig deeper and help India and other countries in need to find the light at the end of the tunnel and overcome the current wave of infections.


Thank you,
Holger Knaack, Rotary International President
K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran, TRF Trustee Chair

CC: RI Board of Directors & Directors-elect, TRF Board of Trustees & incoming Trustees and District Governors-elect