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Relief For Lebanon

$10,000 is needed to cover the shipping cost of shipping medical supplies to those who need them. The Woodstock-Oxford Rotary and their colleagues at McMaster University are collaborating to make it happen.

WOODSTOCK - The Woodstock-Oxford Rotary and their colleagues at McMaster University have started a disaster relief fund for those affected in Lebanon by the recent blast.

The organization and their colleagues out of McMaster University's Division of Orthopedics and International Surgery are raising money and looking to ship medical supplies to Beirut.

Relief fund coordinator Doug Vincent says medical colleagues in Beirut first reached out to Dr. Brad Petrisor and the Division of Orthopedics and International Surgery before Dr. Petrisor asked for the Rotary's help.

"So between Dr. Brad Petrisor and I, we got together and discussed what was needed and we're fortunate that I have Rotary friends in Beirut and he has medical friends at a hospital in Beirut. So with those direct connections he was able to determine what their exact needs are, he was able to determine what their priority needs are and what they need later."

Dr. Petrisor was born and raised in Woodstock and he now lives in the Hamilton area and is the Director of the International Surgery Desk at McMaster.

Dr. Petrisor says he is pleased to be partnering with the Woodstock-Oxford Rotary.

“The range that Rotary has has been truly humbling. They have such a massive experience with humanitarian aid around the world and to see their network come into action is amazing. And to be able to partner with that through McMaster and get our team involved, and then build local partnerships that they have through the Stratford medical supply warehouse, through the Warehouse of Hope, through the Not Just Tourists. These are relationships that are being built and we’re looking to have lasting relationships beyond this.”

Vincent says he and Dr. Petrisor went to visit a medical recycling depot in Stratford, which is run by Rotarian Jean Aitchison. The medical depot holds some of the medical supplies and up to four skids have already been prepared and are ready to be air shipped as early as this weekend.

After the first shipment of urgent care supplies is sent, the Rotary-McMaster team will then send a container full of medical equipment and supplies as soon as enough items can be gathered.

They intend on shipping items like antibiotics, gauze packs, saline solution, surgical sutures and more. Vincent adds additional items will be donated by McMaster and Hamilton Health Sciences. The Warehouse of Hope in Stoney Creek, in conjunction with medical supplies distributor Not Just Tourists, will then transport the items to Mississauga where they will then be flown to Lebanon.

Vincent says they need to raise $10,000 to cover the shipping costs and additional medical supplies that are not available right now.

"There may be other needed medications or supplies which we don't have donated, and which we may help them fund. We always try and buy locally in the recipient community if possible, but I got the impression from what I've heard from the medical people there, some of the medications and supplies they need are not readily available. So if it's available locally we may help fund and purchase, otherwise we may have to source it here and send it."

The colleagues at McMaster will match the Rotary fundraising.

If you want to contribute to this disaster relief fund you can go to Woodstock-Oxford Rotary website and they'll be accepting online donations and will issue CRA tax receipts.

A Facebook group has also been created and you can follow the group for more details and updates.

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