Project Overview and History
Rotarians in District 6220, as well as other parts of the country are responding to a chronic serious shortage of medical equipment, blankets and supplies in many areas of the world. The program consists of collecting salvageable medical materials and shipping them for use where they are needed so desperately.
The idea is the result of a visit in 1991 by the Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team from Rotary District 9250. The team of five women included two medical doctors from Zimbabwe, Dr. Elizabeth Gibson and Dr. Dawn Reeler. In their visits to Rotary clubs in District 6220, the doctors freely discussed the shortage of the simplest medical supplies and equipment and the high incidence of AIDS. Notes from an early meeting of the SAMP committee can be found here.
The following year PDG Dick Calder and RT Jerry Otteson visited the area and confirmed the tremendous need. It was then that the district-wide project was initiated to collect reusable medical supplies from our district for shipment to southern Africa.
In April 1993 the first shipment of nearly 6000 pounds of excellent supplies was sent to Harare, Zimbabwe. Rotarians, including Don Sturtevant from the Appleton Downtown club, visited Zimbabwe to meet the shipment. There was district-wide support from hospitals and doctors and Rotarians. The project also received help along the way from other organizations and individuals across the country.
In November 1994 Sturtevant and Dr. Charles Fenlon visited Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to tour hospitals, discuss the project with Rotarians and others, and returned with renewed enthusiasm for the project.
The Sharing Around (the World) Medical Project today is a recycling program for the salvage of reusable medical equipment, blankets and supplies. These materials are being collected by Rotary District 6220 in northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. The Rotary Clubs in District 6220 who collect medical supplies inlcude: Appleton Downtown, Marquette, Sturgeon Bay and Shawano. Supplies are being sent to Rotarians in many parts of the world, including southern Africa, Russia, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Honduras and other locations. A list of shipments and their locations is available here.
This effort is designed to support the Rotary World Community Service mission in impoverished countries.