District 6960 Irma Relief Committee


I have spoken with, and visited many of your clubs over the last two weeks and seen your social media posts. Wow! Everything from tree removal, to cleaning neighbor’s refrigerators to immediate flood rescue, to helping fellow business owners to re-open, to hosting displaced families and more! Our amazing Rotarians have been working very hard to help those in our communities who are suffering as a result of hurricane Irma. District Leadership and members of the Irma Relief Committee have been active in our district, visiting clubs, communicating with other volunteer organizations and local government, and coordinating volunteer resources where they are most needed. I’m proud of how you’ve helped others across areas, reaching out to clubs that you may not have collaborated with before now!
Thank you to all those who have done so much for others in need. You are making a real difference to those who are suffering!

While I am relieved that many of you, your families, friends and neighbors, have quickly been able to resume a degree of normality, it is also evident that we have a number of ‘hotspots’ in our District where help is desperately needed. These include Arcadia, Marco Island, Immokalee, Everglades City, Bonita Springs, Labelle and LeHigh Acres.

What can you do?

1. Join/Form a Volunteer Crew – ideally of 4-6 people, with one chainsaw per crew, to cut trees, clear yards, and/or clean-up homes. Crews should come prepared with water, food, gloves, hat, rakes, tarps (to drag debris), wheelbarrow, cleaning supplies etc.

2. Conduct a Food/Supply Drive – canned items ideally with pull up tops, peanut butter, snacks, toiletries, paper goods, diapers, cleaning supplies including mops, buckets, brooms, bleach wipes, bleach, garbage bags, bug spray etc.

3. Develop and/or attend Rotary fundraising events for Hurricane Irma Relief. I’m certain we will have fun volunteering, and attending the many worthwhile club events to raise money!

While the rest of our “hotspots” are seeing current issues, I learned during my recent visit to the Arcadia Club that a large percentage of the citrus crop was lost, which is expected to create a delayed economic impact, lost wages and hunger issues in the first quarter of 2018. For this reason, I’m asking our clubs to support the Arcadia Club’s Canoe Down Peace River fundraiser on Saturday, November 4th. They are hoping each club in the district will have 1 canoe at a cost of $100 for 2 persons, including lunch. Checks should be made payable to the Arcadia Rotary Foundation. More details can be obtained from Terry Moe on 863-990-4357.

4. Donate to Irma Relief – Under the leadership of PDG Pete Doragh, our district has established a Donor Advised Fund with The Rotary Foundation that will be used for club projects to help our communities. This will be important with what will likely be a long term recovery effort. Please consider reaching out to your out of state Rotary contacts, snowbirds, friends and others who may be interested in donating to Irma Relief.

CHECK: Payable to The Rotary Foundation DAF, and in the memo line write ‘Rotary District 6960 Disaster Relief Fund Acct # 611’

Mail to Rotary DAF, c/o NRS, 12 Gill Street, Suite 2600, Woburn, MA 01801


Account Name – Rotary District 6960 Disaster Relief Fund

Account Number: 611

Please note that contributions are not eligible for PHF or Major Donor credit. Please contact our District TRF Chair, Pete Doragh, here with any questions about this fund.

I am not able to personally respond to messages from our 2,400 Rotarians in response to this email, so I am asking you to PLEASE CONTACT YOUR CLUB PRESIDENT TO ADVISE HIM/HER IN WHICH WAY/S YOU ARE PREPARED TO HELP. We will ensure that Presidents will receive a separate email informing them of key contacts to coordinate activities with our “hotspots”.

I am so proud of your response to hurricane Irma. There is more to be done to help our “hotspot” communities with short term relief. Thank you in anticipation of your assistance.

Yours in Rotary Service,

Sandra Hemstead
DG- Elect
Chair, District 6960 Irma Relief Committee