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Rotary Club provides grant funding for local COVID-19 emergency, hospital in The Gambia

Clackamas Rotary Club members are making a difference in the county by distributing $29,000 in COVID-19 emergency funds in April and May.

COURTESY PHOTO - Workers put the finishing touches on the new maternity ward in The Gambia.Clackamas Rotary Foundation donated a total of $9,000 to three programs through St. Vincent de Paul that reach low-income residents with food boxes and other services. St. Vincent de Paul programs at St. John the Baptist in Milwaukie, St. Aloysius in Estacada and St. Louise in Portland each received $3,000.

Also receiving $3,000 each were Clackamas County-based Meals on Wheels and Love Inc. programs. The Clackamas Service Center's programs for homeless received $5,000, along with $5,000 for Clackamas Community College.

Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine and the Clackamas Emergency Services Foundation each received $2,000 from the foundation.

Thomas Joseph, chair of the Clackamas Rotary Foundation for the past 12 years, said the community investments come at a time when they're needed most, even though the foundation isn't sure whether it will be able to hold its biggest annual fundraiser.

"This year we're not going to have a golf tournament in June, because we're in lockdown," Joseph said. "We've rescheduled the tournament for Sept. 18, pending what's going on."

COURTESY PHOTO - The Rotary Club of Clackamas is donating funds through the Brikama Health Centre's renovation project to help improve conditions in The Gambia.Meanwhile, the club's first global grant project, benefiting a hospital in one of the smallest countries in Africa, was completed this spring, months before expected. Rotary Club of Clackamas received a matching grant from the Rotary Foundation to provide $53,000 toward safe and clean birthing quarters at a hospital in The Gambia.

Local Rotarians supported the donation to the Brikama Health Centre's renovation project after hearing about how generations of pregnant women in The Gambia have had to suffer through the pain of childbirth in a hospital without windowpanes, sanitary bathrooms or enough power to complete surgical procedures safely. Many women had opted to deliver their babies at home, some with devastating results.

Rotary clubs in Clackamas, Lake Oswego and Edmonds, Washington, teamed up with the Brikama Society of Seattle to provide funds for this hospital renovation project.

Visit clackamasrotary.org for more information.


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