Rotary Clubs send medical supplies, textbooks to Philippines

A shipment of medical and dental equipment and English textbooks collected by members of the Sweet Home Rotary Club and sister clubs is due to arrive in the Philippines later this month.

Members of the clubs began the international project in May 2004, collecting used, serviceable medical and dental equipment and textbooks to be sent to a Rotary Club in Laoag City in the province of Ilocos Norte in Northern Luzon. The medical equipment will be given to rural hospitals and school clinics. Textbooks will be distributed to public schools throughout the province.

The texts were donated by Sweet Home, Scio, Yoncalla, Lebanon and Albany schools and districts. More than 500 boxes of textbooks alone were collected, said Juan Ulep of the Sweet Home club.

Medical equipment was donated by Lebanon Community Hospital and Albany General Hospital. Nineteen complete hospital beds and other items were donated. The collected items were stored at Willamette Valley Rehabilitation Center in Lebanon, which provided a staging area.

Rotary members from the Sweet Home and Albany clubs, along with family and friends, sorted and packed the items and constructed wooden boxes to protect sensitive dental equipment.

The materials were packed into a 40-foot shipping container on July 22 by Rotary volunteers, with help from five wrestlers from Sweet Home High School ? Trevor and Taylor Tagle, Andrew Knight, Colton Cooley and Aris Somatis, under supervision of Stephen Stocks of the Greater Albany Rotary Club.

Funding for the shipment was provided by a matching grant from Rotary District 5110 and from the International Dinner and auction held each year by local Rotarians to raise money for this purpose, Ulep said.