At the recent Board meeting of the club it was decided to encourage members to donate to the Rotary National Bushfires Appeal (RARF), which "enables the collection of donations to assist Rotary Clubs to support people affected by the bushfires".  RARF is sponsored by RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service) National and has Deductble Gift Recipient (DGR) registration so donations from individuals or organisations are tax deductible.  The club will make up the total donation of $4000 from individual club members and from the club.  Also all the net donations from the next Perth Makers Market (PMM)  will be donated to the Rotary National Bushfires Appeal.
The following article from ROTARY VOICES posted on February 6 is well worth a read .....
A national disaster such as the current Australian bushfire emergency provides an opportunity to take stock of The Rotary Foundation’s role:

 the reality is that Rotary is not ideally positioned to act as a first responder (that’s where organisations like the volunteer fire services, State Emergency Services and the Salvation Army are so wonderfully effective);
 we are however exceedingly well positioned to play a very strong part in the rebuilding phase after disasters occur in our communities.
And while it can be tempting to send funds to the first responder charities, there is a very strong argument that our resources are far better directed to high-impact Rotary projects – especially as the first responder charities are already attracting such strong public support.
Over many years, the Foundation has developed strategies to maximize the impact of the projects we support.  We have:

1. tightened our focus to six areas where we know we can deliver great results;
2. minimised the risk of delivering outcomes that are not valued by beneficiaries, by working with communities from the beginning, to clearly assess their needs, through a Community Needs Assessment;
3. extended the period of impact by ensuring that projects are sustainable.
Each of these three strategies is hugely significant following a disaster:
1. based on previous disasters that TRF has supported, Areas of Focus that have proved particularly relevant include:

o Community Economic Development, such as fencing restoration projects, recovery of the bee industry, and possibly whole new industries in a community,
o mental health projects, to address the enormous trauma of survivors,
o environmental projects (an area the Trustees added last year) to address issues such as habitat loss and wildlife impacts,
o one of the Foundation’s ‘Purposes and Goals’ is Developing and supporting community-based basic emergency preparedness services to improve economic resilience;

2. the bushfires have affected communities right around the country and Rotary is possibly unique in that we have clubs in or near all those disaster zones – with members who can fully appreciate the human impact of the disaster and the needs that arise;

3. and a project that provides sustainable benefits continues to remind locals of the value that the club delivered during their community’s hour of need.
The Foundation is very conscious of the difference we can make in the aftermath of this disaster and we’re keen to work with you to deliver projects that will help your communities recover from the fires.  One way to do this is through the recently-established Disaster Response Fund, which provides grants of up to US$25,000. This fund has been extremely well utilised for disasters around the world, and available funds fluctuate considerably, but some funds may be available for bushfire grants.
One final comment is that the Australian bushfires create an opportunity for clubs and districts to create projects that deliver more impact by working with both the Foundation and Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS).  Give us a call if you would like to discuss how to pursue this option.