Humanitarian Projects
FIJI WATER SANITATION PROJECT                                                                                               
Fiji's tropical paradise consists of breath-taking rainforests and lush vegetation. But it does not have safe drinking water. Fijian villages suffer chronic outbreaks of waterborne diseases like typhoid, leptospirosis, and dysentery. Rainwater stored in vol- canic rock catchments is contaminated with disease from veg- etation and runoff, particularly after heavy rains−as depicted in this linked villager's video. Debra Gookin thus shepherded an innovative think-globally-act-globally project. 
The first of two related projects started in 2014 and ended in 2016. The PLRC immediately submitted a second grant proposal in 2016. It completed that project in 2019. Debra's many visits to Fiji inspir- ed her to develop and oversee these PLRC Sweat Equity projects. The PLRC worked with Fiji’s Sava- savu Rotary Club, Rotary Club of San Diego, and the Fijian Ministry of Health, to build and deploy 870 Safe Water Filtration Stations (SWFS). These SWFS devices are serving over 4,000 villagers in Fiji.
Each device consists of two buckets, a super-fine micron filter, a stand to put it all on, and instructions on how to use it to remove bugs and disease laden organisms. The stands were designed and prefabricated in San Diego via Rotarian labor.

They were then shipped to the Fiji villages. The related training and install- allation were done in close partnership with the Fiji Ministry of Health. Its employees and nurses live in the SWFS villages. They thus train the fami- lies in their respective dialects−and thus, local inhabitants training Fijian residents. The filtration systems are deployed without disrupting the Fijian village culture.

Once trained, the Fijians take the water stations home, to set them up for individual use. Residents who have these portable SWFS are thus able to easily get water to drink. That helps them avoid sickness caused by contaminated water.

Debra, and the PLRC Rotarians who worked on this long-distance venture, take pride in the health improvement facilitated by their "hands on" adventure−two Global Grant projects to install water filtration systems in homes, clinics, and schools. 
Rotary International Global Grant projects are the most highly esteemed form of Rotary projects. They are selected through a com- prehensive evaluation process. It was a major accomplishment to complete them as successfully as done by the PLRC. Its members are thus proud of the villagers' uniformly positive reactions to this substantial improvement in their daily lives. Pictured in the adjacent photo of a Fijian SWFS storage facility are: Fiji Minister of Health−the Hon. Jone Usamate, Fiji's Sava-savu Rotary Club project leader Jeff Mather, and PLRC project leader Debra Gookin.    

Background. In April 2000, a Cornwall, England Rotary Club adopted ShelterBox as its millennium project. ShelterBox ul- timately became the largest Rotary Club project in the world, with affiliates in countries across the globe. ShelterBox pro- vides emergency shelter to people affected by disasters and humanitarian crises. The ShelterBox staff and volunteers have helped to shelter and provide aid to over 2.1 million people− in over 100 countries.
By the end of 2004, nearly 2,600 boxes had been dispatched, following 16 major disasters. In 2005, ShelterBox provided more than 22,000 boxes−including to a number of those who had lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina. In 2018, with the support of Rotary Clubs from around the world, ShelterBox provided shelter and supplies for 210,000 people whose lives were devastated by disaster. ShelterBox was able to respond to world events 18 times, sending a variety of essential shelter and aid items to 17 different countries. In most of them, local Rotary clubs provided invaluable in-country assistance. Pictured above: ShelterBox units in Chad's Niger Lake Basin. 
PLRC Contributions. A ShelterBox HERO is a Rotary Club that has committed to making an ongoing impact in worldwide disaster res- ponse by pledging to support ShelterBox annually for three consec- utive years. Sustained annual donations help ShelterBox stay prepared for upcoming disasters. HERO Clubs enable ShelterBox to have the resources to timely respond when disaster strikes. Clubs like ours thus allow Shelter Box to purchase and pre-position such aid, resulting in a more efficient and timely disaster response.                             
Upon the third year of consecutive giving, HERO Clubs like the PLRC receive a banner reflective of their giving level. As provided on the Shelter Box webpage: “We can always be confident that your [RI] organization will lead the world in the speedy reaction to these disasters, through the efficiency of your logistical and management structure and the dedication of your members.”
In 2009, long-term PLRC member Tim McCully became the PLRC’s ShelterBox Ambassador−our PLRC liaison with the ShelterBox charity. The 2021 PLRC check for $2,000 (pictured right) will buy two shelter boxes. They will be delivered to two families in dire need of humani- tarian relief. PLRC's total donations for this project now stand at $13,000. At the end of the 2021-2022 Rotary Year, the PLRC will be listed on the HERO page. Upon its dispatch of the Shelter Box Silver Award (pictured left), the organization commented that: "We could not have reached them without clubs like yours."   
                                                                                                           Photo by Frank White 
Ukraine Project.
Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine triggered a prompt club-wide response. The early March meeting Invocation linked this epic event with RI's 4 Way Test for all things Rotary (see Introduction webpage). The ensuing bottom-up club member initiative reacted to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians flee- ing the Russian government’s invasion. Led by Tim McCully, Point Loma Rotarians−expressed a keen interest in an immed-iate club response to this humanitarian crisis. By engaging RI's Humanitarian Assistance−Disaster Relief Partner ShelterBox, the Club provided $5,500 in one week: $1,500 from the Club Endowment Fund, joined by $4,000 in private individual donations! 

PLRC's immediate response took advantage of available matching funds from a ShelterBox major donor, resulting in a total of $11,000 of real-time support to Ukrain- ian refugees. With a ShelterBox team already on the ground in Poland−where approximately half of the Ukrainian refugees are now located−ShelterBox used the funds to distribute winter clothing,  blankets, heaters, tents and shelter kits to arriving refugees.
                                                                                                        jpeg by Margaret Varissimo
The PLRC has since received the coveted Shelter Box Hero Gold Award (June 2022) for its continuing support of Ukrainian ref ugees. This has been a challenging year for the Ukrainian refugees. Shelter- Box's real-time response is meeting the immediate needs of the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion. Our club has thus provided timely, direct support to them, as they arrive in neighboring countries for sanctuary. ShelterBox donors have thus provided blankets, warm clothes, mattresses, and other direct support for those refugees. 
Rob Cenko initiated this program in 2019. The Barrel of Bounty moniker was spawned by the view that PLRC members have had good fortune be- stowed upon them−and their bounty can be shared with those less for- tunate. PLRC club members can thus embrace the connection of contribu- ting to a group in need.

During the first found of PLRC COVID responses, Shannon Osborne thus donated dinners to the three beach area fire departments: Ocean Beach, Point Loma, and the Morena District. This program is designed to support organizations in the following demographic groups−one for each quarter −Q1: Seniors; Q2: At-risk youth; Q3: Veterans; Q4: Food distribution banks, or faith-based groups in the local community. Barrel of Bounty also supports a local organizational group−Veteran’s Village of San Diego. VVSD has served all veterans since 1981.

It is nationally recognized as the leader in serving homeless military veterans. VVSD provides services to more than 3,000 military veterans throughout San Diego. PLRC thereby supports local veterans in a very tangible way. 
Barrel of Bounty has a cash donation component. The PLRC club’s membership has the opportunity to donate a (non-specified) amount each quarter. This prog ram has served the San Diego Blood Bank and Surf Riders. PLRC’s latest donation was to Birth Line of San Diego, pre sented by Shannon Osborne at a recent Rotary luncheon (pictured left).  Flyer by Ray BlavatAt present, Rob and Shannon shop at the Dollar Store and Big Lots, fetching various goods for this project. PLRC members bring such necessities to the weekly Rotary luncheons or to Shannon's home. Club members thereby provide useful products−that are inexpensive to purchase.                                                                                                                                                                                          
The above flyer has been sent to various organizations. They can thus: (1) initiate a related campaign at their offices; and (2) distrib- ute the flyer to their vendors and contractors. The goal is to reach out to their clients to help market Barrel of Bounty, to congeal as many organizations as possible at each venue, and to help our less fortunate community members. 
Background. The Thousand Smiles Foundation provides free maxillofacial surgery, dental treatment, and various associated procedures to children from financially challenged families in Mexico. This project is totally funded by donations−including but not limited to Rotary International Grants, grants from other foundations, individual Rotary Club donations, and personal donations. Some essential details can be accessed via the 4-minute video−narrated primarily by the Coronado Rotary Club’s Dr. Jim Vernetti. This project is completely managed and run by volunteers. Both professional and other volunteers donate their services and time.
PLRC Participation. Our club launched its participation in June 2021. It invited Bob Chalifa to speak to the PLRC club members about the Thousand Smiles organization. He is its Auxiliary Treasurer, Past President (1987-1989), and on the Board of Directors since 1985. In 2024, PLRC: (1) donated $1,000.00 for its May event−this year, in Ensenada; and (2) paid for the associated volunteers' luncheon.