San Miguel’s three Rotary Clubs gathered for three historic firsts in July: blood donations, installations of officers, and wheelchair distribution to children.
Under the leadership of President Joe Ruffino from the English-speaking club, President Miguel Rangel Lara from the Spanish-speaking club, and President Victoria Nolasco Olvera from the young-members’ club, Rotary District 4140 Governor Pepe Garcia Leon installed each club’s 2023-2024 officers.
“We are gathered together to Create Hope in the World,” said Garcia. “This year, we are focusing our work on creating hope to help the world heal from destructive conflicts and to help achieve lasting change,” he concluded.
The three clubs then joined to create hope through donating blood. Twenty-seven Rotarians and friends participated in what is intended to become a regular activity.
“We are thrilled that most of our donors were Mexicans since this has not been a tradition here in the past,” said Nolasco Olvera.
Finally, the three clubs came together to help build, adjust, and donate more than 200 wheelchairs to children who heretofore have had to depend on others for mobility. This project has long been a tradition of the Spanish-speaking club, and now is a larger project shared by the three clubs.
The children’s ages ranged from under 1 to 18 years old. Some were orphans. Many were transported by organizations, while families brought others. Their conditions included cerebral palsy, spinal bifida, scoliosis, and encephalitis, among others. Each wheelchair is adjustable to continue to suit the children as they grow.
The average cost of each wheelchair, some of which were new and some of which were refurbished, was $3,000 USD. Each family contributed $1,000 pesos toward the cost, and the Rotary clubs raised the rest.
The children live in eight cities in the region as well as many smaller communities. The children were identified by various media and a variety of local health organizations, including CRISMA, DIF, IMSS, Institucion Caises, ISSSTE, and Patronato Pro Ninos,
Other major partners included Hope Haven West of California and Mexico which provided the assembly technicians to customize each wheelchair for each child. Two of the technicians from Mexico came in their personal wheelchairs. All of these technicians travel globally to provide their expertise.
Additional collaborators included Bajio Go for transportation, CANIRAC for food, Keller Williams Realty for additional volunteers, San Miguel Shoes for publicity, UTSMA for location, as well as Cruz Roja, Design SMA, and the Municipality of San Miguel for additional support.
“Thanks to Jose de Anda, for bringing us together for the first time in our combined 81-year history for these three impactful events,” said Rangel-Lara. De Anda founded Rotaract and is its secretary. He also is the official liaison between that club and the other two. “QUOTE FROM JOSE,” said De Anda.
Rotary is where neighbors, friends and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change. For more information about Rotary, contact our President, Joe Ruffino Jr. at email@example.com.