Posted by John Schorr on May 02, 2020
Covid-19! Once again, this month the big story is the pandemic and the socio-economic impact it has had. We recently learned that many of the restrictions on daily life and travel will continue through the month of May.  I am proud to say that our Rotary District 3360 and our own club have found ways to help meet the critical needs that have emerged in our Northern Thailand community. On the one hand, there is the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for the frontline hospital staff. Our Rotary District Governor has organized a program that has funded PPEs being distributed to local Rotary clubs throughout our district. Each club was charged with organizing the distribution of PPEs where they were most needed.  Each of the 65 clubs received 12 PPEs (almost 800 PPEs in all). At CMIRC, President-Elect Clarence, Past President Jerry, CMIRC Rotarian Aree (a registered nurse), and I teamed up to arrange for the donation of 8 PPEs at Suan Dok, the main public hospital in Chiang Mai, and 4 PPEs to the Mae Tao Clinic in Tak Province.
 
Next, we addressed the need of the newly unemployed in our Chiang Mai community. Many workers live day to day here, so the shutdown of the local economy has produced desperately poor and hungry people almost overnight. At our CMIRC Club Assembly Meeting in mid-April, there was unanimous support for CMIRC to help the hungry. Working with our local partner, Philanthropy Connections, we identified a free meals program at the Monsoon Tea Restaurant (photo below, left). The program feeds 130 people every day. We also reached out through our members to identify another free food program at Why Not Restaurant where they feed between 120 and 150 people every day (photo below, center).  Finally, some members know the program at Kitchen 7 which serves over 100 meals every Sunday (photo below, right).  We are helping them all by raising funds to pay for the meals that cost 27 to 30 baht each, less than US$1. In April we raised over 60,000 baht for these programs, enough for over 2,000 meals!
 
 
WE NEED TO CONTINUE SUPPORTING FREE MEAL PROGRAMS!  The lock-down and resulting unemployment, poverty, and hunger will continue until the end of May at least. Do you want to help?  Please contact our CMIRC Treasurer, Nancy Lindley to arrange to make a donation.  NLLindley@msn.com  
 
Some Good News:
CMIRC has subscribed to the Zoom Pro package, so we are now able to conduct our meetings using this excellent internet conferencing application.  We have used it now for the Club Assembly, two regular club meetings, and for a CMIRC Board Meeting. While we all miss the personal contact of a face-to-face meeting, we are finding that our Zoom meetings are well-attended and it is fun to have CMIRC Rotarians in Florida, Missouri, Oregon, and Chiang Mai all at the same meeting!! 
 
Transitions:
Finally, on both a sad and congratulatory note, Charter Member, Past President, Secretary, Mae Tao Clinic Project Champion, and hardest working Rotarian I know, Jerry Nelson, has officially resigned from CMIRC, effective May 1, 2020. We will miss him; he leaves very big shoes to be filled! He is pictured right with one of his favorite people, Dr. Cynthia, the founder of Mae Tao Clinic. We congratulate Jerry on his new role at a new Rotary Club. He will be a Charter Member and Foundations Chair at the District 5950 Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking. He will also continue as the Thailand Coordinator for the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery. Congratulations are also in order for his new status at CMIRC. The CMIRC Board voted unanimously to bestow honorary membership on Jerry in recognition of his tireless work for CMIRC.
 
Get involved:
Dear Bulletin readers, if you are excited about supporting meaningful service in a part of the world and at a time when children still have many unmet basic needs, contact me and I will tell you how you can join us and/or support us in our efforts to improve Child Safety, Health and Education in Northern Thailand: johnkschorr@gmail.com.  

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