Warren County citizens can support and comfort Ukrainian refugees by donating to one of the world’s respected and financially efficient humanitarian organizations, Rotary International.
The 62 Rotary Clubs in Ukraine, plus dozens of sister clubs the neighboring counties that are now harboring refugees, are ideally positioned to assist in two vital ways, said D.M. Simpson, president of The Rotary Club of McMinnville.
“First, those Rotarians and Rotoract members are helping their neighbors as they flee to safety in other countries. Second, but no less important, they are already located at refugee welcome centers, distributing basic supplies like food, winter clothing, train and bus tickets.”
Simpson continued, “Rotary International has already raised $3.4 million in emergency relief funds. But a lot more will be needed and for some time to come as this crisis drags on and the human suffering deepens.”
Rotaract is the organization of college and university students volunteering in Rotary-led causes and local civic work. With a membership of 1.2 million Rotarians, Rotary International serves local and foreign communities through 29,000 clubs in 161 countries, more than 83% of the number of member states in the United Nations.
Ukraine supporters wishing to make fully tax-deductible contributions may write their checks to the McMinnville Rotary Community Fund, the IRS 501(c)3 subsidiary of The Rotary Club of McMinnville. The memo line should indicate the gift is directed to Rotary’s Ukraine disaster fund, and the checks may be delivered to Noon Rotary Club treasurer Andy Knowles at the downtown office of First National Bank. They may also be mailed to P.O. Box 7001, McMinnville TN 37111.
Dr Michael Roberts, chair of the RI Foundation for McMinnville’s Noon Rotary, cautioned members and their guests against fake charities and scammers seeking to collect a windfall of money from tender-hearted donors.
“I’ve seen ads for two organizations where it has been proven that 90% of the donated funds go to expenses and upper management. Only 10% or less gets to the cause,” Roberts stated. “We know we can trust Rotary International to use our money wisely.”
The overhead expenses of Rotary Clubs are covered by member dues so 100% of funds donated to specially designated causes go directly to those programs, Simpson stated.