Posted by David Fowler

Small things can lead to big results!

In early February 2023, a devastating earthquake, followed by powerful aftershocks, struck Turkey. Rotary clubs in the Midwestern United States responded by partnering with Midwest Mission and North Star Foundation to ship a container of food, donated by Rotary’s partner, Baja Bridges in California, with the approval of the Turkish Consulate.
So far, 25,000 “Chef 5 Minute Meals”  (image below) have been sent to Turkey, with 25,000 more to be sent on Friday, March 24 to Ukraine. As the war zone continues to escalate in Ukraine, so does the need for humanitarian aid.
It's common for Rotarians to visit other Rotary clubs when traveling or relocating. It's not so common for such a visit to lead to a complex collaboration impacting people in multiple states and countries. David Fowler, President, of the Rotary Club of Springfield’s Foundation, contacted Midwest Mission to see if they could get a donation of “Chef 5 Minute Meals” to Turkey. These meals were donated to the Rotary Club by Katherine Turner of Baja Bridges out of Clarksburg, California. Rotary was willing to pay the cost to bring them to Springfield, they just needed a partner to get them to Turkey. At that moment, there was no clear route.
About an hour later, Brad Walton, Midwest Mission Operations Manager, called North Star Foundation, one of Midwest Mission’s partners, to coordinate the details of an upcoming Ukraine shipment. While talking, North Star mentioned they had a contact through the Turkish consulate to get supplies into the country. Within an hour, the Rotary Club of Springfield’s Foundation, Midwest Mission, and Baja Bridges went from no way into Turkey to a clear route to get the meals into Turkey.
The first shipment of aid dedicated to disaster relief in Turkey left Midwest Mission on Friday, March 10. This shipment included 25,000 “Chef 5 Minute Meals”. The second shipment of 25,000 meals will be the first of many shipments containing meals and other requested relief items that will be sent to the region.
The shipment for Ukraine will take the same route as Turkey shipment. David Fowler stands with some of the boxes of meals that are headed to Ukraine (image on left).  The donated supplies will leave Midwest Mission in a container on a truck to St. Louis on March 24, 2023 (the image below shows boxes being loaded into the container on the truck). They will then head on the railroad up to New York, and from there, will leave on a boat over to Poland. There is a warehouse set up in Poland as a distribution center for disaster relief. From this warehouse, they are able to get supplies to Ukraine, refugees in Poland, Syria, and Turkey. Because of this, future shipments full of aid have the potential of getting needed resources to people in four countries - based on need.
Midwest Mission Executive Director Chantel Corrie says, “Please remember disaster response, especially of this magnitude, is not a sprint but a marathon. If you assume what others need you can clog the transportation and storage of items that are more important or create a disaster within a disaster. That’s why we only work with trusted established partners, so we can be sure to send what is actually needed.”
This will be the first of many shipments of relief that will go to Turkey and Ukraine. The magnitude of the disaster in the region means there will be years of recovery ahead. Midwest Mission is continuing to respond to the effects of the war in Ukraine as well, sending Rice Meals, medical supplies, Personal Dignity Kits, and other requested items.
Monetary donations allow us to quickly buy supplies in bulk and buy what is specifically requested by our partners in Turkey and Ukraine. We never send items that are not specifically requested because we never want to create more chaos in their crisis.
If you’d like to help people impacted by the earthquake in Turkey and the war in Ukraine, the Rotary Club of Springfield, IL makes it easy. The Club’s Foundation partners with Midwest Mission, the North Star Foundation, and Baja Bridges to ship containers of food and needed supplies. The Rotary Club of Springfield works with other Rotary Clubs, Rotary International, and Rotary Clubs in Turkey and Ukraine to help families in need. The image below shows Rotarians from the Springfield Sunrise Club (on left) and the Rotary Club of Springfield (on right) with some of the meals that are now on the way to Ukraine.

Please send contributions to:
Springfield Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 615, Springfield, IL 62702 Memo: Disaster Relief Fund
Midwest Mission, 1001 Mission Drive, Pawnee, IL 62558 Memo: Turkey OR Ukraine / Tel. 217-483-7911
Baja Bridges, P.O. Box 14, Clarksburg, CA 95612 / Tel. 916-832-8965
About the Rotary Club of Springfield and their Springfield Rotary Foundation
The members of the Rotary Club of Springfield are an active, diverse group of individuals with a common interest in making the community and the world a better place for everyone.
About Baja Bridges
Baja Bridges is a network of volunteers who provide equipment and supplies for EMTs and firefighters and other assistance for community services in Baja, Mexico. Baja Bridges builds community connections across the border and supplies the necessary tools for these dedicated individuals to perform their jobs with safety and pride.
About Midwest Mission
The mission of the Midwest Mission is to bring the hearts and hands of God’s people together to transform resources into humanitarian aid, so we can show God’s love in a practical way to those in need in their time of crisis.
Around the world and around the corner, people are lacking simple resources that could improve their circumstances. That's why Midwest Mission sends tangible resources to make an intangible difference in their lives through hope and empowerment. In times of crisis internationally and in the United States, Midwest Mission sends Disaster Relief, Health, Education, and Micro Business supplies distributed freely through trusted partner nonprofits.
In 2022, Midwest Mission sent $7.99 million of humanitarian aid in 299 domestic and 48 international shipments.
If you want to learn more about what Midwest Mission does and how you can get involved, visit or visit our Facebook at