District 5710 was proudly quick to respond with assistance for our Texas neighbors after the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

While we all know that Rotary is not a disaster relief agency, Kansas’ District 5710 is fortunate to house an agency that is. Lenexa-based Heart to Heart International was founded 25 years ago by Rotarians ̧ and several Rotarians are current executives and board members.  Rotary Clubs in District 5710 are strong advocates of Heart to Heart and have continued Rotary’s commitment since its inception through volunteer programs to build hygiene kits, mission trips to Guatemala, Haiti, Uganda and other countries while making signicant monetary donations especially during challenging times.

District 5710’s effort for Hurricane Harvey relief was two-fold. First, the Lenexa Rotary Club organized a hygiene kit assembly effort. In concert with several other area vclubs and Interact clubs, thousands of kits were quickly on their way to Heart to Heart staff, already on the ground in hard- hit Texas areas. All volunteer spots for the warehouse effort booked within 24 hours!

Secondly, the district leadership pledged to match a fundraising target of $5.00 per district member. In good faith of our members’ generosity, the district’s portion (nearly $12,000) was mailed within 48 hours of executive committee approval. And then the clubs went to work!

Clubs large and small were eager for the opportunity, under Rotary’s broad umbrella, to be immediately making a difference in communities of dire need. In most cases, the $5.00/member target was happily eclipsed, with clubs tallying double, triple, and even more than ve-fold that amount.

“Heart to Heart International was created 25 years ago with the help of Rotary clubs in the Kansas City area, and we continue to be a signi cant medical responder to disasters around the world. At this time, our focus is close to home...helping people in the U.S., as well as the Caribbean, recover from devastating hurricanes. Only with the nancial support and volunteers from groups like Rotary are we able to accomplish so much,” said Jim Mitchum CEO of Heart to Heart.

The Village West club expanded their fundraising effort by posting volunteers at the Labor Day weekend games of their local minor league baseball team, the Kansas City T-Bones. While every nickel counted, perhaps the most noteworthy donation came from the actor Bill Murray.  Murray is co-owner of the visiting club, the St. Paul Saints (who did lose to the home team on that beautiful afternoon). When asked to pose for a photo with club members, Murray quipped, unprompted, that it would certainly be “fair for all concerned!”