Virginia Worcester has been watching the situation in India where COVID-19 has been spreading at an alarming rate.
Despite India being far away from Parksville Qualicum Beach, the owner of the Borealis Hair Salon in Qualicum Beach couldn’t help but be concerned.
“Two weeks ago, I saw everything on the news about India with the issues with COVID and how bad it was getting,” said Worcester, also the founder of the District 69 Backpack Program. “I reached out to the Rotary Club Evening Club in Qualicum Beach and asked if the club wanted to get behind sending some money to India. A couple of our club members jumped on it right away and thought it was a great idea.”
The Rotary Club went on to find a way they can send money to India directly to the people in need. They reached out to Rotary Club International for some guidance and they were directed to the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club in Washington, who advised that the money be sent to St. Theresa’s Hospital in Bangalore, India.
“Since I was asking money from the Rotary Club, I decided to contribute,” said Worcester. “I held a fundraiser last Saturday (May 9) and cut men’s hair for a $25 donation. I also asked my clients to donate. So on that day I was able to raise $1,300.”
Worcester asked the Qualicum Beach Rotary Evening Club and also the Rotary Club of Parksville AM to match her donation. Both clubs agreed to do it, increasing the donation to $3,900. The money will be forwarded to the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island, which is also raising funds for India relief efforts.
“We just worked really hard to get this done very quickly because the need is so great and they need it instantly,” said Worcester. “People want money to stay local and there is a lot locally who needs it but in a situation like this, it is important to reach out internationally when there’s a crisis as bad as this.”
The Rotary Club in Bangalore will be handling the donation to make sure it reaches the targetted recipient said Jeff Frankford, president of the Qualicum Beach Rotary Evening Club.
“The Bainbridge Island Rotary Club is raising $20,000 and they will add our donation. It will be a big amount when it reaches India,” said Frankford.
“The message is we can all come together and work together,” said Worcester. “Look at what we’ve been able to do by coming together. One person can only do so much but you come together, look at what we’ve done.”