Mrs. Lilian Hutchence

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Rotary Club of Miami:

Report of "Rotary Club of Miami Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort", presented by our Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort Chair Mrs. Lilian Hutchence, member of our Rotary Club of Miami.

4th October, 2005

to: Mr. Jay Almeida
Rotary Club of Miami
Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

Dear Jay,

In response to your request for a financial estimate of the Rotary Club of Miami Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort, I have been in touch with several groups, including the Salvation Army and the Red Cross, to ascertain the volume and caliber of goods collected, as well as attempting to estimate funds collected and the number of human resources employed.

The Rotary Club of Miami Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort began with the Solidary Foundation truck as the collection point, at Rotary Club of Miami’s regular Thursday lunch meeting on Thursday, 8th September, at the Rusty Pelican Restaurant in Key Biscayne.

We then expanded the Effort to include another three collection points in Miami-Dade County. These were The Wyndham Hotel at Miami Airport, The Mutiny Hotel at Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables Senior High School. The Hotels served as 24 hour collection points, with relatively easy access, while the school acted as the collection point for 16 Miami-Dade Public High Schools.

Upon distribution of the press releases to newspaper, TV and radio networks within Florida, as well as physical distribution of flyers to over 170 key locations within Miami-Dade County, it became apparent that the response was too great for one vehicle, and the Salvation Army was contacted. Both Mr. Victor Valdes, Area Commander for Florida, and Clyde Preston, Regional Development Director, of the Salvation Army, worked with us closely to collect as much of the donated goods as possible to allow room for our very substantial backlog, but soon they completely depleted both their available storage and transportation abilities.

We then contacted the Red Cross, as did others on our behalf, to collect the overflow, while we outreached to other organizations. The Salvation Army has a good working relationship with the US Coast Guard, who coordinated their resources with this Effort also, and later the National Guard. These are just a few of the groups who contributed to the Rotary Club of Miami’s task at hand.

The Effort was conducted in two phases:

The first phase was to meet the immediate, life saving needs of the victims, with goods such as food, clothing, water, hygiene & medical items.

The second phase was to meet the victims’ relocation & housing needs, with collections concentrated on items in the household furniture, white goods & electronics category. Many new items were donated such as furniture, flat screen TV's, DVD players, computers, white goods and were collected from corporate donors, as well as the general public and media, through our Miami-Dade/ Broward counties media efforts and flyer distribution.

As you know, during the collection process, many contributed checks payable direct to Red Cross and Salvation Army, primarily the Salvation Army. These were given to the organizations through the various collection points and by myself, and totaled approximately $10,000.00.

Additionally, the Rotary Club of Miami Foundation donated $2,500.00 to Robbins Found. This was primarily a Relief Effort to collect goods. There was little emphasis placed on fund collection, as it was not possible in such a short time to create an infrastructure adequate to accept large volume of funds.

The network of organizations we brought together continue to work with each other, contributing more donations every day to both the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. No doubt several long term relationships have been forged. Warehouse space and transportation to the stricken areas was also donated (due directly to our Rotary Club of Miami Efforts, the Salvation Army ran out of storage room in Miami-Dade and Broward counties) on a continual basis. There were many within the Club itself who gave much of their time and called upon their own resources. First and foremost of these Club members is you. You gave so much of yourself to ensure the success of our Relief Effort. This was truly a completely non partisan Effort in the true spirit of Rotary Club of Miami Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort, which you, Mr. Almeida, seem to have the ability to inspire us with!

It is not possible to estimate the success of the Effort in definitive monetary terms, since what we began is still ongoing, so the best estimate would be based on the official dates of the Effort, which was conducted over a 10 day period from 6th - 15th September. During that time, approximately 10 semi trailer loads of goods were collected by the Salvation Army and the Red Cross, and other carriers on their behalf when they ran short of transportation (such as the NAACP).

Checks were also collected which were written directly to the Red Cross, or Salvation Army and delivered to them. These checks total approximately $10,000.00 of the ones I am aware of, with Rotary Club of Miami’s additional contribution being $2,500.00 to Robbins Found. The total estimate of our Rotary Club of Miami Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort within the ten day parameter, including the donated goods, would therefore be conservatively estimated at approximately $500,000.00.

There are about 25 groups working together as a result of what we began - local, State and Federal. These include private & public organizations, corporate and government entities. Some of these were already working in unison. However, we succeeded in putting together our own signature network. These entities are now working directly or indirectly within our signature network, not just amongst themselves, as was the case prior to our Rotary Club of Miami Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort.

I would like to, if I may Jay, provide you with a list of some of our contributors, who, in a large or smaller capacity, gave of themselves. They contributed goods, funds, transportation, sorted/ packaged goods ready for delivery, either to our collection points or directly to the Salvation Army/ Red Cross when we experienced a transport shortage. The media themselves actually had their entire local studios contributing, as well as going on location to conduct interviews etc for their news shows.

You asked me how many people contributed their time and effort, and this is perhaps the best way to give some of them well deserved recognition. The list of contributors is as follows, and by no means is complete. How many worked with us? At least hundreds of persons, and I would not hesitate to suggest perhaps thousands, when we look at the bigger picture from donations to delivery in the stricken areas (much of the transportation and delivery was through our network, as Red Cross and Salvation Army resources were stretched to the limit at that time).

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The list in the following pages would suggest this not to be an unreasonable assumption:

Contributors and Helpers:

Miami Rotary Club Foundation/ Miami Rotary Club (collection point)
Miami-Dade District High Schools: Coral Gables Senior High School (collection point) & 16 contributing High Schools
Wyndham Hotel, Miami Airport (collection point)
Mutiny Hotel (collection point)
Solidary Foundation
Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce
British Chamber of Commerce
US Coast Guard
National Guard
Miami-Dade Police Department
Broward Police Department
West Miami Recreational Center
Best Buddies
FEA (Future Educators of America)
Stop Hunger Charity
Braman BMW, Miami
Fortune Realty, Miami
OBM Architects, Cayman Islands & Miami (who extensively advertised our effort)
Grove Isle Club & Resort, Coconut Grove, Miami
Four Seasons Hotels
Hyatt Hotels
Intercontinental Hotel, Downtown Miami
Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Condos
Bentley Hotel & Condos, South Beach, Miami
Delano Hotel, South Beach, Miami
Mandarin Hotel, South Miami
CHA (Caribbean Hotel Association), San Juan, Puerto Rico
Macy’s, South Miami
Nordstrom’s, South Miami
Home Depot, South Miami
Gardeners Markets, Miami
Publix Supermarkets. South Miami
Milam’s Supermarkets, South Miami
Wild Oats Health Food Stores, Miami
Walgreen’s South Miami
Ace Hardware Stores, Miami
Petco, South Miami
Costco, Miami
Le Bouchon Restaurant, Coconut Grove, Miami
The Palm Restaurant, Coral Gables, Miami

Media Contributors and Helpers:

Fox News Network
NBC Network & Noticias 23
ABC Network (Channel 10)
Cannel 44 & Fernando Hidalgo Show
The Daily Observer Newspaper & Radio, Antigua (who sent out our press release to friends in the Florida media)
WLRN Public Radio
102.7 Radio
105.9 Radio
Radio Marti (Colombia)
Miami Herald
Miami Today
Sun Sentinel
Andrea Freygang – Reporter/ journalist
Quantum Leap Publishing, Coral Gables
Cheryl Andrews Marketing

I trust the above answers the questions you asked. Thank you again for your great help, support and vision. It would not have been possible without your leadership, good example and initiative – we built on your initial idea and you have been tremendously supportive, as well as physically contributing so much personal time and effort. Without a doubt, I could not have completed this so successfully without you. Thank you Jair, and thank you to everyone who made The Rotary Club of Miami Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort such a success.


Lilian Hutchence Member, Rotary Club of Miami

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