The Rotary Foundation has approved Rotary District 6250 application for a $25,000 disaster response grant!
Several Rotary Districts in our area are coming together to work with UMANA (Ukraine Medical Association of North America) to gather donated supplies and ship to Ukraine via Poland. The donations have largely come from Pharmacies, Hospital Supply Manufacturing, Healthcare Distributors, Hospitals, and clinics. They have a published list on their Facebook page  and will only accept these items that have been identified as needed by Ukrainian clinicians, including Rotarians. The items are sorted by front-line emergency care, hospital needs, and surgical needs. Rotarians and community members have been donating tourniquets, blood clotting gauze, blood clotting mixtures, etc. as unlike many other wars, many injured are civilians. 
Rotary International Director-Elect Pat Merryweather-Arges, a PDG from Rotary District 6450 has been a key resource to ensuring that these funds are being put to good use. Pat is a gifted and incredibly experienced medical professional and you can see her at TriCon, our District Conference coming up in April (register today!).
Rotary is evolving to develop systems that achieve the intended goals of grants and projects. There are several steps that can be taken to reduce risk of failing on an initiative or donation, and it is worth the time spent in undertaking research and planning. It may seem hard to do in an emergency situation, but not if you lean on and leverage your connections to make the right decision and reduce risk.
Before our grant application was submitted, representatives from the participating Rotary Districts gathered via Zoom to see the warehouse outside of O'Hare to see their efficiencies and effectiveness with our own eyes. The UMANA warehouse is a UN warehouse that the UN cleared out 80% of the space to house the supplies being gathered and sorted. All collections follow the guidelines for best practices of collecting and repurposing unused and donated medical equipment and supplies.  Both Rotary and UMANA are also working with the Ukraine Ministry of Health that are directing and delivering all medical supplies to facilities and communities in need.
These emergency funds will make a direct and immediate impact on the needs of the Ukrainian people who need it most. I’m inspired by Rotary’s quick and thoughtful action and the collaboration of so many caring people who serve to change lives. To find out more about what Rotary is doing to provide direct humanitarian relief in Ukraine, visit this link.
Ben Bauer
District Governor Elect (2022-2023)