Special to The Lake Report
The Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake, individual Rotarians and Rotary District 7090 have rallied to the aid of the Ukraine.
The NOTL club contributed $25,000 from community fundraising efforts to three front-line organizations that can provide direct support to Ukrainians: the Canadian Ukraine Foundation ($2,000), Shelter Box ($7,000) and Doctors Without Borders ($16,000).
“Our support for Ukraine doesn’t stop there,” says NOTL club president Greg Fedoryn.
Rotarian Jodey Porter raised a further $72,000 from the Niagara-on-the-Lake community in support of Doctors Without Borders.
“We inspired our community to give, and our capability in terms of multiplier effect for donations helped us guide monies to organizations that could best benefit those on the ground at such a time of terror and cruelty,” said Porter.
Individual leadership from Rotarians Bill and Emily Charnetski raised an additional $30,000, which was directed to the Canada Ukraine Foundation.
“The foundation is based out of Toronto and has done wonderful work. They take over medical teams (including equipment and materials) to do specialized surgeries and training,” said Fedoryn.
“The trips were all paid by local donations and the medical teams consisted of volunteer professionals.”
This generous spirit runs deep in the Charnetski family.
When Bill Jr. was married last summer, in lieu of gifts, he and his wife requested donations to the Canada Ukraine Foundation. Family and friends generously donated over $11,000.
With the added impact of matching donations from Rotary International, Doctors Without Borders and the Canadian government, Niagara’s contribution became $250,000.
“Not only did local Rotarians raise funds, but we went to work,” said Fedoryn.
Rotarian Anne Dickson noted, “We spent days collecting and packing care packages consisting of supplies identified as needed priorities, including medical and personal items.”
Her commitment to help extended to providing employment for several young people who’ve arrived in our area from Ukraine.
In the fall of 2022, Rotary District 7090 (of which the Niagara-on-the-Lake Club is a member) received a grant of $35,000 from Rotary International to assist in sending medical equipment and humanitarian necessities to Ukraine.
District 7090 includes more than 70 Rotary Clubs in southern Ontario and Western New York.
Collaborating with the Rotary Club of Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine as well as Warehouse of Hope, Not Just Tourists in North America and AMA Hope, a total of over $230,000 worth of relief supplies were sent and distributed in war torn areas of Ukraine.
The supplies included 500 trauma kits, 50 hygiene kits, medical equipment, supplies and bandages.
Rotary District 7090 Foundation chair Sandi Chard of St. Catharines said, “It is the efforts of Rotarians in District 7090, committed to ‘doing good in the world’, the Rotary Foundation and strong partnerships with humanitarian organizations, that made this project happen so quickly, and we delivered hope to Rotarians in Ukraine.”
Southern Ontario and Western New York Rotary Clubs were extremely supportive and worked together to secure products and helped with packing and shipping of the much-needed equipment.
Five pallets carrying medical and humanitarian supplies were delivered safely to the Rotary Club of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, to handle proper dispersion of all supplies.