Dracut Rotarian, Chuck Moran, speaks about Crutches 4 Africa, a non-profit organization that collects and delivers crutches and other mobility devices to people with disabilities in developing countries
  • Chuck Moran, speaker
  • Dave Talbot by Skype, speaker
Mary Garcia led this week’s meeting, since Chris is in Montana with his Boy Scout troop.
  • Carolyn is looking for volunteers for next's week Wings and Wheels, which our Club is hosting. This week’s featured cars are American, so plenty of hot rods and muscle cars. Also this week there will be a high school band from Maynard and another band.
  • There will be no regular meeting next week, nor the week after, due to Wings and Wheels and the Spirit of Hudson Brewfest.
  • Ron Bott’s birthday is tomorrow.
  • Check presentation: $1,000 was given to the RFK Children’s Action Corps, to help kids leaving the program with discharge kits. Also given were sheet sets, towels, and personal hygiene items from the Spears, Garcias, Alina, and Leigh, to help the money go further; all as a testament to the work of Rotary.
Dracut Rotarian, Chuck Moran, spoke about Crutches 4 Africa, a non-profit organization that collects and delivers surplus and used crutches and other mobility devices to people with disabilities in Africa and other developing countries.
Crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs can’t be recycled to other people in the US, because of insurance regulations. (If a person using this equipment subsequently becomes injured and makes an insurance claim,, the insurance company can recoup its costs from the original owner of the equipment.) So Crutches4Africa collect devices for use in the Third World. Chuck met Dave Talbot in Montreal in 2010. Dave is a polio survivor himself.
While making a documentary, they came across a woman  in Uganda, a polio survivor, who had nothing but a tree branch to help her get around. So in 2011 they collected 235 pairs of crutches. These are shipped using share containers, which cost about  $3 per item. There are now distribution centers in Zambia and Kenya, with some 7800 pieces of mobility equipment  going to Africa, Bangla Desh, Mongolia, Christmas Island, and Pakistan. This is not to say that polio is active in all these places; equipment is needed for post-polio symptoms.  Active cases number only 6 in Afghanistan, and 13 in Pakistan.
The need is still huge, 20 million people in Africa, 4 million in Kenya alone. Future plans include finding transportation partners in inland countries. Rotary penetrates into the dark where mobility so needed. They work with Rotary clubs locally to make sure nothing trickles away or goes astray. The immediate goal is by 2017 to have a million pieces of mobility equipment, and $2 million in funds to help with shipping. These goals would be impossible without the power of Rotary.
The talk concluded with a video, which can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_Ab5s2-PDI