Clean Water Changes Lives

As a member of a 37 person Rotary work team that traveled to the Dominican Republic last month, I saw firsthand the power Rotary can bring to a poor community seeking to carve out a better future for themselves and their children. Armed with a $34,000 Global Grant from The Rotary Foundation, we partnered with Rotarians from the Santiago Monumental Club to build and install 94 latrines for families living in homes constructed of wood planks with weathered tin roofs.

The highlight of the trip for me was the afternoon I spent at their community school, Santa Maria, in a classroom of High School Juniors. This school is a public school but Santiago area Rotarians have solicited the help of local foundations to invest resources and vision to give the school the look and feel of a private school. These students were excited to tell us about the service project they had just completed using a $1000 grant our district had given them one year ago. Over the course of 3 months, these students had approached dozens of homes, knocked confidently on the door, and said “I am a student at Santa Maria School down the street. I would like to paint one wall of your home at no charge. Which of these 7 colors do you prefer?” The reaction in the community was fantastic and the students returned in groups of 2 with paint brushes and youthful vigor. They told me the next problem they want to tackle is reducing litter in the streets by distributing trashcans in key locations. These students are learning they can be agents of change in their own community!

So there it is: we as Rotarians identified the need for improved sanitation, rolled up our sleeves, and made a small dent in a global problem. Along the way we helped the community help themselves. I am proud to be a Rotarian. I hope you are too.

Matthew Kane, District Governor 2014-2015
Rotary International 7710

How Lives are Changed

The following words from Patrick McCoy, posted on Facebook, captures the impact and significance of the work of the 37 District 7710 Rotarians that travelled to the Dominican Republic.

“A mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging week in/around Santiago, Dominican Republic. Partnering with the fantastic hard working Club, Rotario Santiago Monumental, on building 90+ latrines and planning the foundation for a health and sanitation program for the years to come starting at the schools. Each person pictured and those who aren’t, yet helped us, are the most amazing people I’ve ever met and got to build a stronger relationship with each and every day side by side for a true Service Above Self mission!”

Patrick McCoy of the Cary MacGregor Rotary Club

The Dominican Republic Clean Water project had four objectives:

  • Build latrines
  • Provide water filters
  • Teach the importance of hand washing, and
  • Meeting basic community needs

During the one week, the 37 Rotarians accomplished the following:

  • Build 95 latrines, making for a total of 250 over the last three years
  • Renovated 26 homes
  • Provided educational sessions on leadership, public health and nursing
  • Held a health screening session attended by over 400 people
  • Provided sheets, towels and other household items to families

The following montage of pictures were provided from the various photographs posted on the Rotary Dominican Latrine Project Facebook page by Pat Bridges, David Crowe, Patrick McCoy, Kelly Norman, Subir Mukherjee and Carlos Pantaleon. 

100 Acts Of Service

The Durham, Southwest Durham, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Sunrise Rotary Clubs partnered with Duke University, Durham Tech, and the United Way of the Greater Triangle on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to bring desperately needed meals to the Triangle area During the four hour event at Durham Technical Community College, volunteers created soup mixes, rice bags, and bean bags to fill the shelves of pantries in the Triangle area In an amazing effort by our community, more than 400 volunteers assembled close to 84,000 meals to be distributed to partner agencies working to end hunger in Durham, Orange, Wake, and Johnston Counties.

This effort was the kick-off event to the Durham Rotary Club’s Centennial Year, with the theme of “100 Acts of Service.”

Cleveland School Rotary Makes Over 100,000 Meals

This year the Cleveland School Rotary club coordinated an event to create meal packages for the Stop the Hunger organization. Working with five Rotary clubs and one Interact Club, during the two hour blitz, 80 volunteers created packages for 20,000 meals. The Club has organized this annual event for the last six years, creating over 100,000 meals for distribution to needy people in third world countries.

Pictured right representing the different Clubs are: Kim Lewter, Cleveland School Interact (left); Don Wells, Cleveland Morning; Laura Nelson, Clayton Midday; Chuck Killian, Garner Midday; John Long, Clayton Morning and Phil Cummins, Garner Morning.

Cary Rotary Club’s Legacy – Fighting Hunger at Home and Abroad

On January 30th, 2015 the Cary Rotary Club held its 12th Annual Chili Dinner to Fight Hunger. Thanks to the generosity of 108 sponsors and numerous ticket sales the event’s profit was nearly $29,000. Add this amount to the net profits from the last eleven years and the Cary Rotary Club has contributed more than $311,000 to hunger relief agencies and efforts at home and abroad!

Our international partner has been Stop Hunger Now, a Raleigh-based international hunger relief organization. Early contributions were used in disaster relief efforts in Southeast Asia, Africa and Haiti. Over the last several years our contributions have help fund the school feeding programs in several countries. The Cary Rotary Club was instrumental in establishing the Million Meals for Children project. Club members, family and friends have packaged millions of meals. Meals are distributed at schools, which incentivizes parents to send their children to school, increasing literacy rates. For most of the children it will be the only meal they eat that day.

Closer to home, we have donated funds to many local hunger relief agencies. Recipients over the years have included the Interfaith Food Shuttle, Society of St. Andrew, Meals on Wheels, Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen, Urban Ministries, From Jesus with Love, Brown Bag Ministries, Read & Feed, Raleigh Rescue Mission, White Plains Methodist Church Food Pantry, Dorcas Ministries and Wake Relief. These organizations provide food, health care and other supplies to the poor and homeless in our area.

The Cary Rotary Club members are active participants in this yearly fundraiser. Many are sponsors, others solicit sponsorships and sell tickets, plus work shifts from 8:30AM-8:00PM the day of the event to assure each year’s Chili Dinner is a success. This year we served 1200 meals and more than 50 members volunteered their time at the event. It is a great opportunity for fun and fellowship as we fulfill Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.”

Christmas with Crabtree Rotary

The photos are from Holiday Express, Crabtree Rotary’s major annual fundraiser, sponsored jointly with the City of Raleigh’s Parks & Recreation Department at PullenPark.

Event dates this year were Dec. 1-4 and Dec. 7-11. It was a sold-out event from the moment Parks & Rec put an announcement on their web page in July. Held from 4-9 pm on selected dates, the park became a holiday wonderland of lights and entertainment for thousands of young children and their families.  Activities included rides on the train and carrousel, a visit with Santa, arts and crafts, a swift ride down a “snowy” hill and games.

Monies raised from sponsorships and ticket sales go to the Crabtree Rotary Foundation.  This is the third year that the Foundation will make a significant donation to the Ronald McDonald Houses of North Carolina, an amount to be determined when final accounting is completed.

Bigger, Better, Bolder – Together

Thirty-one Rotarians, nearly 100 community volunteers, more than 25,700 meals packed in a little more than two hours.  That was the scene recently in Oxford as the Oxford, Henderson, Roxboro and Kerr Tar Rotary clubs came together for an Emergency Food Box packing event.  And they plan to do it again in January!

This kind of collaborative effort isn’t a surprise to the Rotarians of Area 1 clubs.  For more than a year the presidents and presidents-elect have been meeting regularly with their assistant governor, Marie Howard, to brainstorm and discuss how the clubs can join together to have an even bigger impact in the rural north end of District 7710.

In addition to the food packing events, the six Area 1 clubs have nearly completed planning for a joint Foundation Centennial dinner in February 2017.  With a former Peace Fellow as keynote speaker, the evening will feature AG Marie and the club presidents talking about the history of the Foundation and the impact it has had in the local area, and the world.  In addition to Area 1 Rotarians, local dignitaries and potential Rotarians will be invited to join us for an informative and fun evening.

The newest and boldest collaborative project is still in the very early stages of development.  Several years ago Rotarians in District 6400 launched a micro-lending program in Detroit called Launch Detroit (http://launchdetroit.org/). More recently, the North Raleigh Club has initiated a similar program in Raleigh (http://launchraleigh.org/). For several months the six Area 1 clubs have been considering a similar program for the four counties in Area 1.  We have interest from local government, have an excellent community college that can provide support, and through Rotary we can provide the necessary mentoring and networking support.

In addition to large projects, the relationships developed through Area-wide leadership meetings have led to smaller collaborations.  The South Granville and Oxford Rotary Clubs recently joined forces to provide apparel to orphaned and needy children in Granville County.  The two clubs worked with the local social services department to identify children in need and shared the cost of providing the apparel.  In the planning stages, is an Emergency Food Box packing event including the J.F. Webb Interact Club, the Oxford Preparatory Interact Club (not yet chartered) and the Oxford and Kerr Tar Rotary Clubs.

Developing relationships among the leadership teams of Area 1 clubs has allowed the clubs to more effectively serve their communities.  Now, projects are Bigger, Better, Bolder – Together

E-Club and Interact Team up for Service Project

Monday, November 7, 2016. The Rotary E-Club of District 7710 and their sponsored Interact Club from the School for Creative Studies in Durham had a great time volunteering at the Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF) in Durham.  During their service project the Clubs helped assemble over 200 school kits. GCF, a Durham based tax-exempt organization focuses on creating opportunities for a better life, by partnering with tier one elementary schools and youth programs to provide school kits to children. Each school supply kit distributed by GCF is valued at approximately $5.00. GCF has provided approximately 34,000 such kits since beginning the project in 2001. GCF and Rotary understand the importance of providing opportunities that encourage and enable students to complete each school year successfully. Such volunteer opportunities strengthen Rotary’s engagement in communities where Rotarians live, work and provide service to others.

Rotary Clubs Expand Their Battle Against Alzheimer’s        

The Holly Springs Rotary Club and the Apex Sunrise Rotary Club have been working together to provide help to local assisted living facilities through a Music and Memory Program. Alive again through music!  This ground breaking therapy uses IPods and headsets to reconnect those suffering with Alzheimer to the present day by using music they grew up with to reach them. It dramatically awakens these individuals and self-initiates conversation and interaction.

The group met to discuss expanding the Music and Memory Program to other local facilities, this year they launched the program in the Carillon Facility in Fuquay-Varina and Spring Arbor in Apex. The group would like to add four other facilities like Waltonwood and Sunrise located in Cary, Windsor Point Retirement community in Fuquay Varina and Val’s Place family owned facility located in Raleigh NC.

The Rotary Clubs are working on their Fundraising plans in order to reach their goals to raise $2K per club. The Holly Springs Rotary Club is working with the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce by holding a Business After Hour’s event asking for iTunes gift cards to help with the downloading music selections as well as asking the business community to consider making donations to help offset the expenses an enable the Clubs to grow this important program.

Learn more, watch Alive Inside  – Alzheimer’s Documentary. Considering making a donation

The following is a link to video that is a fantastic example of the major and emotional impact the Music & Memory program has on its participants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd7dOIYIzYE

Doing Service for a Service Dog

The Rotary Club of Morrisville recently collected over 100 pairs of shoes that they donated to Robert Hinton of Raleigh, a young boy in need of a service dog to help with his autism.

With many other people from NC, SC, Florida and Virginia, he was able to gather almost 10,000 pairs of shoes to go to needy individuals and families all over the world who are without decent shoes.

The donated shoes are weighed and Robert’s family will receive a dollar amount which will be used to cover most of the costs of getting his service dog.

For more information or to make a cash donation you can do  so at https://www.gofundme.com/robertsheroes.

District Project to Dominican Republic

The District is going to the Dominican Republic on Feb 4 – 11, 2017, to team with The Santiago Monumental Rotary Club to build latrines, a playground, and repair homes in the Village of Los Cocos.

We have received a District Grant that totals $20,000. Five District Clubs (Wake Forest, Cary, Central Johnston, Clayton, and Cary Page) have joined in on this Grant. We need to raise an additional $8,000 to complete the projects and to provide supplies and drinking filters for the community. We hope you and your Club will consider donating to this project.

If you are interested in becoming part of the District 7710 Team, please email PDG Rick Carnagua, at: rcarnagua@aol.com.

There will be an informational meeting about the trip on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at The Cary Chamber of Commerce building located at 307 North Academy Street, Cary, North Carolina 27513. This will be a great opportunity for you to learn more about this great project.  Please let Rick know if you will be attending the meeting.