Many of you probably received this newsletter from Jim Archer, but I wanted to make it available on our website. It's the latest news on the Youth Exchange and the current situation with our friends in District 2520. May God be with them in this terrible time!

The Governor's Thoughts
By Jim Archer

All of you are aware of the horrible devastation that has befallen Japan and as Rotarians you want to know "What can we do?" There are many ways to help through The Red Cross, The Rotary Foundation, faith based organizations, etc. These are all very good options, but they can involve delays. There is an additional option to consider.
Since 1996 District 5830 has had a close relationship with District 2520 in Japan. Sadly, this district is at the center of the devastation. You can read a first-hand account from the Youth Exchange Chair from District 2520 below. Because of our close relationship with this District, we are organizing a District wide effort to get donations into the hands of District 2520 Rotarians immediately. In this way they can provide immediate assistance to their area in the ways that matter most. Anyone who would like to participate in this effort should read PDG Bill Rains' message below.
Checks should be made payable to Rotary International District 5830. Please be advised that these donations are not tax deductable nor do they count toward foundation credit. They are simply gifts from you to our sister District in need.

Email from Mr. Oikawa, District Program Chair:
My dear William L. Rains,
I am very sad to say that we cannot help giving up the program of this year. Because of many serious damages by this worst earthquake and TSUNAMI(tidal waves), our governor Mr. Narayama was forced to decide the cancellation of this program and announced it to us today.
Some of the team members have still been missing and others lost their family members to live with and houses to live in.
We have never met such a cruel and fearful disaster before. Along the seacoast of RI dist.2520 (Iwate & Miyagi), some of the cities and towns have been washed away in a moment by the tidal waves. Even now I am mailing to you, feeling earthshakes every few minutes.
Thank you so much for your goodwill and hospitality so far. I am sure this condition will be improved, even though it takes a little longer time. See you!
Sincerely yours, Seiichi Oikawa, Dist. Program Chair

Email from PDG Bill Rains:
As most of you are probably aware, the Youth Exchange between District 2520 and District 5830 has been cancelled this year due to the Earthquake in Japan. Some of the students that were to come to District 5830 tomorrow have not been located since the Earthquake. PDG Jo Ann Parkman suggested that we start a fund raising effort to raise funds to send to District 2520 for their use in helping persons in District 2520. She started off the effort by contributing $500 and was quickly followed by $500 donations from DG Jim Archer, PDG Fay J. Durrant, DGE Shirley Griffin and PDG Steve Brown. We are requesting that clubs in District 5830 make an announcement of this fund raising effort and collect funds and make contributions to the effort. We would like to do this in the next two weeks.

Funds should be forwarded by Friday, April 1, 2011 to:
PDG Bill Rains
P. O. Box 913
Clarksville, Texas, 75426

Let's show th Rotarians in District 2520 that we do care.

Yours in Rotary Service,
Bill Rains District 5830