PDG Wyn Spiller talked to us about disaster response locally and around the world, including the district's fire response, Ukraine and a new district grant funded project focused on support and rescue of Afghan families left behind following the collapse of the government and exit of U.S. military in 2021.
Wyn first refreshed our memory about the Rotary Foundation and our district's version of that.  The vision of a Rotary Foundations was first described by Arch Klumph at the 1917 International Convention where he said: “It seems eminently proper that we should accept endowments for the purpose of doing good in the world.”  Wyn described our District 5190 Community Foundation, a 501c3 entity, which became a fire relief fund, among other purposes.
Last year 15 fires burned within our district boundaries.  A Disaster Relief group was formed at the district level that gave $500 gift cards to individuals or businesses -- a total of $119,000 to date.  Members have opened homes to people and their animals.  When each gift card is given, we hear the stories of the survivors. The Greenville club has worked tirelessly at fire relief to aid their town which was hit hard by the Dixie fire.  John Banks, President of the Rotary Club, has been tirelessly for fire victims including working hard to find people that need the gift cards.

Rotarians around the world have stepped up to assist the more then 6.2M have fled Ukraine. 
Australian Rotoracters drove thru the night with 4 trucks and met contacts ¼ mile from Ukraine border and loaded up refugees.   Rotaracter, Ilene, drove to Vienna.  All along the way, she stayed with Rotary or Rotoracter families.  Mobilized Rotoracters in Europe via cell phone and located 2000 families who were willing to take refugees. Rotary Foundation has mobilized a Disaster Relief Fund as part of the Rotary Foundation.  $15M in donations have been raised.  Grants will be prioritized for the Ukraine through at least June 30, 2022.  Grants are designed to move in and out quickly. Gifts to the Disaster Relief Fund count as credit towards Paul Harris Fellow.  
One last project:  Wynn is emotionally attached to allies she worked with in Afghanistan.  Two projects: EVAC and Operation Snow Leopard are focused on preparing people to leave Afghanistan, and getting people evacuated, respectively.  The programs also fund rent for safe housing and healthcare for injuries from the Taliban.