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