Rotary Australia reaches out to communities Rotary Club of Wauchope, Australia, volunteer Reg Pierce explains the multifarious activities of Rotary Australia World Community Services, RAWS in short, which is expanding its outreach.

Rotary's Reg Pierce
Rotary’s Reg Pierce

Wauchope Rotary volunteer Reg Pierce wants people to know what the charity is all about:

The main thing we’re trying to do is to get people to understand what Rotary does.

One part of Rotary is called RAWCS.

It stands for Rotary Australia World Community Services.

It’s an organisation within Rotary. It’s almost independent.

In RAWCS there are several sub-committees, for example Rotarians Against Malaria, Adopt A School, Safe Water Saves Lives, etc.

These all try to make the elives of less fortunate people overseas and at home a little easier.

I’ve been appointed the chairman for all RAWCS in our district, 9650, which is a big one.

It goes right out to Lightning Ridge out west, up to Woolgoolga in the North, south to Forster Tuncurry and southwest to Kurrindi, Coonabarabran, areas like that.

So it’s a huge area – 57 clubs. And I’ve told my committee members that we need to get out to the public via our local media, whether that be print or radio, and let the people know what we’re doing.

Because we ultimately rely on people’s help, either through support or donations, or through volunteers to go overseas.

That’s what we want to do. Most of the time, RAWCS hasn’t been fundraising.

Rotary raise funds via clubs which donate $5 per member per year, but that’s not enough.

I’ve told my committee members that each committee should start fundraising for itself.

We rely on money from our district funds. We’re in the throes of starting out to raise funds for RAWCS.

We will go to the various clubs in our district to give talks on the various committees.

The chairman of RAM will go to as many clubs as she can get to I’ll be going to as many clubs as I can as a guest speaker, raise awareness and ultimately, funds.

No-one is going to give money for something they don’t understand. By explaining to people what you do and how you’re going to go about it removes doubt and scepticism and speculation.

When people know that Rotary area involved, they’re mostly happy to put their hands in their pocket, because they know that every dollar raised goes to the target.

Being volunteers, there are very few overheads. Even when volunteers go overseas to Rotary programs, we pay our own way.

We did Shelterbox and people are starting to get the idea of what that is. It’s a survival and temporary accommodation kit in a box for 10 people.

They can up a tent, use cooking utensils and water purification equipment.

We also collect clothes and baby gear for mothers and children in Third World countries. and sanitary products for women – they don’t have it and are very pleased to get it.

The Port Macquarie club is heavily involved in helping a hospital in Nepal.

They’ve sent them a greenhouse so they can have vegetables all year round which they never had before.

Now, they’re going to set up solar hot water, so they can have showers and it’s great for sanitation, and they’re installing toilets.

All kinds of programs are run by Rotary which comes under the umbrella of RAWCS.

My job now is to go out and let people know what they’re doing and try and drum up a bit of support.

Source: Wauchope Gazette

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