by Pete Pillow
While the most recent COVID-19 news in the U.S. is positive, other places around the world face higher numbers of infections and deaths. This is especially true in India, with 400,000 new cases daily, severe vaccine shortages and a lack of lifesaving oxygen.
India has over 3,000 Rotary clubs. Many are working to support their communities as the pandemic takes hold. Area governor Temrah Okonski alerted Howard County Rotarians about the critical need for oxygen, noting that our clubs have many members who either immigrated from India or have relatives there.
Rotary Club of Columbia-Patuxent (RCCP) members are responding with a rapid-response “breath of life” initiative. In one week, the club has given nearly $10,000 for oxygen generators -- devices that produce medical grade oxygen from ambient air and cost $550 each. Purchase and delivery to India is being arranged by Disaster Aid International (DAI) – a Rotary-sponsored organization that provides relief for dire emergencies anywhere in the world.
A corporate interest in India is making a dollar-for-dollar match to RCCP’s donation, enabling shipment of 36 new oxygenators for distribution to the country’s rural hospitals. This match also applies to any future contributions.
We welcome additional “breath of life” donations in the spirit of international community service. Interested in giving? Visit our “Donate to the Trust” page and select the India Oxygen Generator pulldown. Thank you in advance.