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Oct. 25, 2021 | Monday
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NOTL Rotary sends $30,000 to Doctors Without Borders
NOTL Rotary member Jodey Porter spent time volunteering abroad with Doctors Without Borders. (Supplied photo)

Service club commits to raising even more to help developing countries


Jodey Porter of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Club remembers a child’s plea from her last stint abroad with Doctors Without Borders four years ago: “All we want is a chance.”

That remark solidified Porter's commitment to volunteering.

“Those parts of the world where people just like us have their entire lives shattered, they just need a handle to save themselves and their families,” Porter said.

So she said it “made sense,” especially now with the global COVID-19 pandemic, to forward the remaining funds from the NOTL club’s international account to assist with the worldwide emergency response led by Doctors Without Borders.

Local and international fundraising has always been part of the NOTL Rotary’s mandate; members are now pushing to raise even more money for the countries with the highest need. Through Doctors Without Borders, the local service club is sending $30,000 to health care systems on the front lines in those developing countries.

It is also looking for more donations to bump up the amount raised. The club’s chair of international services, Patrick MacNeill, said members have a target of $50,000.

Porter, who will be taking over as chair of the international services committee in July, said the club decided to empty its remaining bank account, giving what has been raised for international use to the organization.

She has volunteered with Doctors Without Borders for 15 years, offering her services in the planning and logistics of setting up health care systems in those developing countries.

She retired from a career as an assistant deputy minister of health for Ontario and said she was eager to be able to offer her expertise on the ground in the refugee camps abroad.

Now, her efforts are mainly remote – she said she’s able to continue assisting with the “important work” being done by the organization from home.

“I think Doctors Without Borders, to me, is the organization that goes further just to help others. And with their dollars, it leverages most in terms of talent. It takes the extraordinary healing capacity of our first world, and takes it to people beyond their reach, of helping other countries,” Porter said.

MacNeill said he understand that everyone will be feeling some financial strain due to the pandemic but asks that if you can afford to make a donation to please do so.

“The Rotary stands for service above self,” he said, noting many of the club’s members have donated their own money to help reach the goal.

And while some of the Rotary’s focus is on international relief at the moment, he said local efforts are in the works as well.

“We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world,” he said.

Anyone looking to donate can do so by writing a cheque payable to: NOTL Rotary Foundation with the notation “MSF COVID-19 Relief Fund.”

Please put cheques into an envelope with NOTL Rotary on the outside and include your name and address on the outside of the envelope to ensure you will receive a tax receipt. All cheques can be dropped off at the Meridian Credit Union at 1567 Niagara Stone Rd.

Donations can also be made by e-transfer by adding a new recipient under the name The NOTL Rotary Foundation MSF COVID-19 Relief to

Then mail your name and mailing address to Ron Ferguson at with the notation “For MSF COVID-19 Response” to ensure tax receipts will be issued.