Rotary President Oliver Morris stops by the Daily Post Tuesday to talk about seeking 1,000 volunteers to attend the Peace Glow fundraiser for Ukraine the Club is hosting April 16 at Overlook Park. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
Los Alamos Deputy Police Chief Oliver Morris in his role as president of the local Rotary Club stopped by the Los Alamos Daily Post Tuesday to talk about an event near to his heart.
“When I attended the FBI National Academy in 2019 there were 40 countries represented including an officer from Ukraine,” Morris explained. “She spoke to us of what it was like to live in constant fear and under the shadow of Russia … at the time I did not understand the perspective of one of my fellow classmates but as the devastating events have unfolded recently in the Ukraine I have been thinking about her speech.”
To help the Rotary Foundation help the people of Ukraine, Morris with his fellow Rotarians is seeking 1,000 volunteers to gather at 7 p.m., purchase a $5 glow stick and just at sunset form a heart Saturday, April 16 at Overlook Park in White Rock. Drones in the sky above will record the event and the funds raised will go to help those in need in Ukraine.
“I saw that the Rotary Foundation is dedicating all funds it raises up until April 30 to help the victims of Ukraine and I wanted to help and to involve our Interact high school age student Rotary members,” Morris said. “These students meet every Monday and plan and prepare projects that meet the Rotary Four-Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
“Obviously Ukraine is in need,” Morris said. “Even if peace were to happen today it will take years to help rebuild the lives of the victims of Ukraine and to take care of all the refugees.”
There are 52 Rotary Clubs active in the Ukraine as well as in Poland and surrounding nations, he said.
“One of the biggest things the Rotary stands for is peace,” Morris said. “I’m taking my family to the fundraiser on April 16 and encourage everyone to bring their children to teach them about peace and helping people in need.”
Morris added that the Peace Glow fundraiser isn’t just about raising funds but also about raising awareness of the people suffering in Ukraine.
Funds raised at the Peace Glow will be distributed to the Rotary International Disaster Relief Fund, a direct means to provide disaster aid to Ukraine and the countries threatened on its borders, he said.
The fundraiser begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Overlook Park on the Spirio soccer fields in White Rock. Glow sticks, in blue and yellow, will be for sale for $5, payable in cash or check to the Rotary Club. Supporters will then gather in the shape of a heart with blue on the top half and yellow on the bottom, representing the Ukrainian flag.
As the sun sets at 7:40 p.m., everyone will activate their glow sticks. The glowing tribute to peace will be videotaped by drones directed overhead by Cpl. Sheldon Simpson and the Los Alamos Daily Post.
All funds will go directly to Rotary International’s Disaster Relief Fund. Rotary International states that “due to the growing humanitarian and refugee crisis taking place in Ukraine and the impacted surrounding countries … and the sudden and extreme needs prompted by the crisis in Ukraine, immediate action is warranted to bring relief to these areas.”
Rotary Clubs in Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Republic of Moldova and Romania are eligible for the relief funds. The funds will be distributed promptly through grants, a “channel of support that gives donors the greatest assurance that contributions are going to help those most in need in the Ukraine crisis. Priority access to water, food, medicine and clothing will be given as immediate aid.”
In response to the deepening humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, The Rotary Foundation has created an official channel for donors around the world to contribute funds to support the relief efforts underway by Rotary districts and has designated its Disaster Response Fund as the main avenue for contributions.
To this end, The Rotary Foundation has approved:
- Now through June 30, 2022, designated Rotary districts that border Ukraine and the Rotary district in Ukraine may apply for grants of up to $50,000 each from the Disaster Response Fund. These expedited disaster response grants can be used to provide relief to refugees or other victims of the crisis including items such as water, food, shelter medicine and clothing.
- During this same period, other impacted Rotary districts that wish to offer support to refugees or other victims of the crisis in their district can apply for $25,000 grants from the Disaster Response Fund.
- Now through April 30, 2022, Rotary districts can transfer unallocated District Designated Funds (DDF) to support the Disaster Response Fund, directly supporting these Ukraine-specific humanitarian grants.
- Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund in support of Ukraine can be made here. All funds need to be received into the Disaster Response Fund by April 30, 2022 in order to qualify for use in support of the Ukrainian relief efforts.
- Although the Disaster Response Fund will be the main avenue for Rotary Foundation support, Rotary and Rotaract clubs also are encouraged to create their own responses to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
More than 2 million people have fled Ukraine and are in dire need of emergency aid. The United Nations estimates that number could grow to as many as 5 million people displaced. Rotary clubs in Europe and around the world have stepped up their relief work, some working on the ground to help displaced families.
For questions and to obtain more information, contact the Rotary Support Center at email@example.com.