International Service

The St. Thomas Rotary Club has been active in its support of projects, both large and small, which have served to improve the lives of people, both young and old, outside our own community. In recent years, the club has been involved in these projects:

Polio

The St. Thomas Rotary Club does its part and more to help meet Rotary International ( http://www.rotary.org ) goal to eradicate polio from the earth.

The Hope Bear

One project that has well exceeded expectations is the sale of H.O.P.E. teddy bears, a project initiated by the Bracebridge Rotary Club and adopted by the St. Thomas club. Thanks to the efforts of a small, but extremely dedicated group of St. Thomas Rotarians, sales of the bears reached the hundreds and allowed the club to achieve its Polio Plus commitment.

Early in 2004, one of our club members joined a group of Rotarians from across Canada who traveled to Utter Pradesh, India to administer polio vaccine to some of the world’s most economically disadvantaged inhabitants.

More than twenty years into the fight, Rotary is on the brink of eradicating Polio once and for all. With the End Polio Now ( http://www.endpolio.org/ )campaign, Rotary is near reaching its commitment to raise US $200 million to match the $355 million in challenge grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which, combined will provide the financial power to end this debilitating disease once and for all.

Thiruvananthapuram

This was a project spearheaded by the St .Thomas Rotary Club in 2000-2001 to raise funds to purchase equipment for a new eye hospital in the city of  Thiruvananthapuram (formerly known as Trivandrum) in South India. A grand total of $97,895 was sent to Operation Eyesight Universal (OEU) based in Calgary, Alberta. OEU supervised the purchase and delivery of all the equipment. 35 clubs in District 6330 donated to the project. Matching grants were obtained from Rotary International, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through the ( http://ghdx.healthdata.org/organizations/canada-rotary-committee-international-development ). Dr. John and wife Dr. Suriya David visited the St. Thomas Rotary Club on May 6, 2002 to receive the final cheque for $1000 and to show how the equipment was being put to use in Thiruvananthapuram. It should also be noted in passing that for many years (up until the present year) the St. Thomas Rotary Club collected eyeglasses no longer needed by the local population and arranged for these glasses to be sent to overseas recipients under the auspices of Operation Eyesight Universal.