Crutches 4Africa and Haiti
ROTARY CLUB OF GLENS FALLS PARTNERS WITH SAIL and CRUTCHES 4 AFRICA TO HELP PEOPLE IN HAITI
The Glens Falls Rotary Club, the Southern Adirondack Independent Living Center (SAIL), and Crutches4Africa announced today that they are teaming up to continue the Haitian Relief program that began in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in January of this year. Glens Falls President Kevin O'Brien has asked all members of his club and the surrounding Rotary Clubs in the Capital District to join in an effort to collect mobility devices that will be sent to aid the thousands of amputees and maimed people in Haiti. "We have been working with the local Rotary Clubs and Pure Water for the World in Haiti for over five years. This program is a continuation of our commitment to the people of Haiti" said O'Brien.
The local club raised over $30,000 for the victims of Haiti earlier this year through a telethon sponsored by Look TV. That money was sent directly to Haiti through Rotary International and was used to provide clean water and medical supplies in the makeshift hospitals that were treating patients under very severe conditions. "In the weeks after the earthquake", O'Brien went on to say, “we were in communication with Rotarians in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and they asked us for money first. While they still need an extraordinary amount of help, we heard there was a particular need for medical supplies like crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs, so we decided to try to help. We were approached by Crutches 4 Africa and we also reached out to the SAIL Center and they were eager to work with us."
The SAIL Center 's mission is to assist people with all kinds of disabilities. In particular, they have an equipment loan program for people who might need adaptive or mobility equipment on a short term basis. David Bogue, Director of PR for the Rotary Club and a member of the Board at SAIL says, "The Center is uniquely situated to handle this type of program because we regularly get donations of equipment from residents in the community that is no longer being used. We have a large inventory and some of it will be donated to aid this program." While this program, in partnership with the Rotary, is limited to mobility devices, the SAIL Center does accept donations of any medical adaptive equipment that they can use in their equipment loan program. "We know that there is a lot of unused equipment laying around in basements and garages that could be put to good use by people in need. We are asking people, nursing homes, senior centers, and anyone in the community to open their hearts again and share what they might have, but aren't using, to benefit a child or a parent who has lost their independence due to injuries sustained from the earthquake. As one of our members also observed, this project not only has a direct impact in humanitarian terms, but it also has “green” quality, as these items are kept out of our landfills."
“Crutches 4 Africa is a nonprofit organization that supplies used mobility devices (crutches, canes, wheelchairs and walkers) to disabled people in Africa and Haiti. David Talbot, a Rotarian from Colorado, who has developed this unique humanitarian service organization is going to be in the Northeast during September collecting these items from groups that have agreed to help, many of which are Rotary clubs. He has rented a 40ft container and will be driving a truck around to various locations to collect items and talk about his project. David and his wife, Candace are professional photographers/videographers and visited Africa a few years ago to do a documentary. David himself is a polio survivor and he was moved by the hardship he saw in those ravaged by polio and other diseases. The idea to get used mobility devices from the USA to people in Haiti and Africa became their passion and project in 2005. Crutches 4Africa was highlighted in the August issue of Rotarian in its “World Roundup News.” You may also check out the organization’s website <www.crutches4africa.org> to find out more.
Rotary International has many clubs throughout the world and they all work together to provide aid and relief for poorer countries. There are local clubs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic that have set up channels through which Rotarians and the general public may donate money and other forms of aid in the relief effort.
Donors often wonder if their largess will be used for its intended purpose. “Rotary is the largest not-for-profit service organization in the world. We in Glens Falls have been working for a number of years in Haiti, with and through our sister clubs, to fight disease by bringing clean water to this region of the world. We have close ties to these wonderful people. We know what Rotarians like David Talbot are doing, and with our ties in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and we have every confidence that the assistance we send will be used for the right purpose and to aid those most in need ”, said David Bogue
The SAIL Center will be the collection point for donations and the public is being urged to donated any unused mobility devices during the week from Monday, September 27th through Friday, October 1st. The Sail Center has two locations in the area. One is located at 71 Glenwood Avenue in Queensbury. Phone: 792-3537. They will be collecting any used crutches, walkers, canes and wheelchairs between the hours of 8am to 4pm. The second collection center is located at Country Club Plaza, 418 Geyser Road, Ballston Spa, NY 12020. Phone: 584-8202.
Anyone who would like to donate critically needed funds may do so by sending a check or money order to the Glens Fall Rotary. 100% of the funds donated will be distributed to the Haitian people. There is NO ADMINISTRATION FEE. Please make checks payable to The Glens Falls Rotary Foundation, Inc. Please write "Haiti" on the memo line. All donations must be mailed to Glens Falls Rotary, PO Box 4702, Queensbury, NY 12804.