District News

$10,000 to Reduce Hunger

Rotary Club of Oxford Invests More Than $10,000 to Reduce Hunger



Reducing hunger is one of the primary areas of service for the Rotary Club of Oxford. During 2014-15, the club organized two major projects directed towards reducing hunger, both globally and locally in Granville County. The Oxford club received two Rotary District Grants totaling $4,500 to support these two projects and added an additional $5,650 through fundraising efforts.

The first project was Stop Hunger Now, a meal-packing event held on October 11, 2014. The pack-a-thon, which is held nearly every year, generates great enthusiasm within the Oxford area. This year included 114 volunteers from 13 organizations plus local individuals and families. The event highlighted Rotary within the community, helped identify potential Rotarians, and is one of our youth leadership initiatives. Participants included 32 Interact Club students from J. F. Webb High School and Granville Magnet School, a Rotary Peace Fellow and his family, and members of local community organizations, churches, and sororities. During the four hours, volunteers packed over 20,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now feeding programs around the world. Each case of food included a tri-lingual pack card asking the recipient organization to contact us to help build bridges between our communities. It is estimated that this event provided meals for approximately 700 Haitian students for one month through Haiti Outreach Ministries. This pack-a-thon emphasized Rotary International’s motto of ‘Service Above Self’ to Interact students and members of the Oxford community, at large.

The second project conducted over the course of eight months included three major components:

  1. Donations of money and food to the local food pantry, Area Congregations in Ministry (ACIM),
  2. Creation of a vegetable recipe cookbook, and
  3. Distribution of a fruit and vegetable nutrition education flyer.

The cookbook, published both electronically and in paper form, contains 41 creative recipes donated by community members, encouraging people to enjoy their veggies. To maximize the effectiveness, the cookbook, fruit, and vegetable nutrition education flyer was distributed to organizations that could reach a large number of people through their existing programs:  ACIM, Oxford Housing Authority, and Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, Interact Clubs, and a Senior Center.Food insecurity is a major problem in Granville County, as it is through much of the country. ACIM serves about 4,000 families a year, providing food, budgeting and financial assistance. ACIM receives generous donations of organic produce from local farmers. Unfortunately, some clients are not familiar with the vegetables and don’t know how to prepare them. The Oxford Rotary Club addressed this through a recipe contest and development of a vegetable cookbook.Untitled-12

The major component of this second project was financial support of ACIM. Through its partner organizations, ACIM is able to purchase food more inexpensively than is available through retail stores; as a result, financial contributions are more valuable than donations of food. Through this District Grant and donations from individual Rotarians, the Oxford Rotary Club contributed $6,790 in cash, plus about 100 pounds of food to ACIM, which represents more than four tons of food!

The Rotary Club of Oxford is committed to making a difference in the world, especially for our neighbors in Granville County. The club’s service projects focus on reducing hunger, improving education, and leadership development. Send an email to OxfordNCRotaryClub@Yahoo.com for an electronic copy of Enjoy Your Veggies! Cookbook or for more information about the Rotary Club of Oxford. You can visit the website www.OxfordRotary.org and find us on Facebook.

“Books on Break”

Durham Rotary Club Organized Successful Pop-up Bookstore -“Books on Break”


More than 450 YE Smith Elementary School students filled string backpacks with 4,500 books to take home and keep at the second annual Books on Break event in the school’s media center.

Books on Break is a nonprofit signature program of Durham-based Book Harvest. The three-day summer reading event collects donated books and uses them to combat summer learning loss among low-income children.

The Downtown Durham Rotary Club served as Book Harvest’s service partner for the event, recruiting 53 volunteers from Rotary, Book Harvest, the Y.E. Smith parent and local business community and Duke CE. Volunteers who staffed Books on Break logged 145 hours of service, serving as personal shoppers to the students as they selected their 10 books each.

Untitled-9“This worked again and it could export,” said volunteer Rotary organizer Mimi O’Brien. “Book Harvest provides the books. Civic partners like Rotary offer volunteer coordination and staff to make it happen. The partner school adds the site and plenty of students.”

YE Smith teacher and project organizer Morgan Hunt reported more than 21 pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade classes rotated through the pop-up bookstore. School officials say students who take home summer books demonstrate improved reading retention skills.

“By providing plenty of books during the vulnerable long weeks of summer, we’re pushing back hard against summer reading loss,” said Ginger Young, founder of Book Harvest. “Students from YE Smith are taking home nearly 5,000 books to enjoy this summer. Our partnership with Rotary is making it possible to maintain hard-won classroom gains. We’re grateful.”

“There’s everything to like about this project; free books, community involvement, happy kids,” said Todd Taylor, a Duke CE official who leads Durham Rotary’s popular “Reading Rangers” volunteer literacy program across the school year.

The Durham Rotary Club is promoting “100 Acts of Service Above Self” as part of its Centennial year. Visit www.durhamrotaryclub.org for more information.

Rotary in Nepal

Untitled-6Margherita (Margo) Scott, a member of the Clayton Rotary Club, has been in Nepal providing humanitarian medical relief since May 2. Rotary District 7710 and the Clayton Rotary Club provided Margo before she left with significant financial support and supplies so she could assist the Nepal people that have been devastated by the two massive earthquakes that hit on April 25 and 26.

This is a wonderful story of how the many cogs of Rotary International moved very quickly to make things happen.

On Sunday morning, April 26, at the District 7710 Conference, Terri Black and Ian Rumbles noticed that fellow Clayton Rotary member Margo was visibly upset. Margo volunteers for a group called Cardiostart International that provides cardiac surgery and medical training in under-served parts of the world. A team of 30 medical professionals was already scheduled for a mission to Nepal, starting on May 3 for two weeks. Overnight, the mission changed to one of providing emergency medical relief at Dhuliknel Hospital, (17 miles from Kathmandu) where there mission was initially destined.

Untitled-5Margo’s group sent earlier this spring two containers of medical supplies to Dhuliknel to provide cardiac surgery training, but now she needed emergency medical supplies, water filtration systems and gear for sleeping outside so they could deal with this crisis. She also needed cash to allow her to buy the needed supplies here, but more importantly to purchase items while in Nepal.

An email to John Long, club president, got the cogs going as he made Matthew Kane (District Governor) and Leigh Hudson (Chair of the District Disaster Relief Committee) aware of the situation. John also sent an email to the club making them aware of the situation and asking them to provide what emergency supplies they could for Margo to take with her to Nepal.

On Wednesday, the District provided Margo with $2,000 to purchase what she needed here and in Nepal.

Matthew Kane also made contact with the Rotary District Governor in Nepal making him aware of Margo’s arrival and developing a connection for Margo while in Nepal.

The next morning, Thursday, April 30, at the regular meeting of the Clayton Rotary Club, Club members brought cash and many supplies for Margo to take with her.

= = = = All of the above happened in FOUR DAYS = = = =

Untitled-4On Friday, May 1, Margo started her daylong journey to Nepal, with money and supplies provided by Rotary at the Club and District level.

In Nepal, Margo was involved in providing support to the trauma team, mainly amputations. The team became aware that rural villages were in desperate need for food, in addition to medical attention, so Margo’s team traveled to these areas.

Untitled-3In the mountainous Nepal area, the earthquakes also cause dangerous landslides. While Margo was in a remote area providing aid, the second large earthquake hit Nepal. There was concern whether they would be able to get back to the main base. Fortunately, after considerable negotiations her team was able to find a driver willing to risk the landslides to take them back.

Nearing the end of her time in Nepal, Margo’s team traveled to a village where the school had been destroyed. In less than a month, the monsoons will be hitting the area and housing was required so the students could return to their studies. The team spent the remaining days constructing the tents for this temporary school.

Untitled-2In Dhulikhel, Margo reached out to the local Rotaryclub and attended one of their meetings. Working with the local Rotarians, they determined how to allocate the remaining supplies. Medical supplies were divided up between the hospital in Dhulikhel and an outreach clinic in a small village. Water filters, camping supplies and clothing will be left with another village. The village of Khukhraechor received a supply of food, as hunger is a significant issue.

Untitled-1This is a great illustration of how Rotary at many different levels can move very quickly to do what is necessary.

When Matthew Kane mentioned to Patrick Eakes, District Governor 7690, Greensboro area, about Margo’s mission, he said, “It’s so cool to have boots on the ground.”

Team to visit Brazil

early childhoodEarly Childhood Education Vocational Training

A Vocational Training Team (VTT) to address Early Childhood Education (ECE) for children birth to five years is in the formative stages. Team members will travel to Brazil in February 2016 and spend time with their peers in Brazil, sharing ideas and best practices. All expenses for the team are funded through a Global Grant supported by clubs in North Carolina’s District 7710 and Brazil’s District 4510. A VTT goes to an area, learns and shares with local experts and brings that knowledge back home to implement and make changes.

In 1988, Brazil changed its Constitution to indicate that the country was obligated to provide early childhood education to all children. Brazil has been challenged to meet this obligation and we feel their successes and failures would be of benefit to US efforts in this area. The intent of the team is to learn and grow from the Brazilians.

The team will consist of fifteen professionals in three main areas of focus:

  1. Policy – elected officials, policy makers or implementers, research and data evaluators, and business or governmental leaders interested in improving systems and increasing effective investments
  2. Health – professionals in maternal health, pediatrics, child development, early intervention, early childhood mental health, public health, nutrition/obesity, abuse and neglect prevention
  3. Education – experts in language and early literacy,  social emotional development, high quality child care,  parent education and engagement, professional development and workforce support, school administration

If you know of anyone who may be a good fit for this effort, we are interested in having them apply. The application form is posted on the District 7710 Website under programs or available from Todd Taylor

The VTT Committee consists of Todd Taylor (Chair), Durham Rotary; Laura Benson, Durham Partnership for Children; Darrella Cavenaugh, Clayton Rotary and Lynne Carpenter, Zebulon.

Key Dates are:

June 15, 2015    VTT Applications Due
June 30, 2015   VTT Selection Complete
Feb 19, 2016 – Mar 6, 2016   VTT in Brazil

For more Information contact: Todd Taylor    919-680-5030   todd.taylor@dukece.com

global grantpuzzle

VTT to São Paulo

Early Childhood Education in Brazil

Vocational Training Team

São Paulo, Brazil

February 25 – March 10, 2016

In 2015-16, a Vocational Training Team from District 7710 will travel to Brazil. The focus for this team will be to learn about Early Childhood Education (for children from birth to age 5) policy and practices in Brazil.

The Vocational Training Team (VTT) will consist of:

  • Teachers
  • Child healthcare specialists
  • Policy makers
  • Early education experts
  • Other professionals involved in ECE

Identify potential candidates from your community to join the team. Team members will spend time with their peers in Brazil, sharing ideas and best practices. All expenses for the team will be funded through a Global Grant supported by clubs in District 7710 and District 4510.

For more information: contact Todd Taylor, Durham Rotary Club, at 919-649-5568 or via email at Todd.Taylor@dukece.com.

Building Peacemakers

Supporting the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center

Peace Candle 2

Light your Rotary Peace candle on September 21, 2015.

Join the movement and together let us celebrate the International Day of Peace 2015!

Plan this unique fundraiser to:

  • Support the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center
  • Raise funds for your club’s local and international service projects
  • Engage your community and celebrate peace
  • Create awareness about the Rotary Peace Fellowships

How does the fundraiser work?

Clubs purchase the Rotary Peace votives (with candle) for $2.50 each and sell them to the community for $5 each.

Clubs keep the entire $2.50 to support local and international service projects.

All proceeds from the purchase of the Rotary Peace votives will be donated to support the Rotary Peace Center and to do good in the world.

For more information contact Kelly Norman, Clayton Rotary Club, at 919-271-6398 or via email at wagnerweddings@yahoo.com.

Magical Night

Magician Nick Comis entertained a record number of 285 District Conference Rotarians and Guests during the Governor’s Banquet on Saturday night in New Bern.

Bright Futures

Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Capital City for being March 2015 Donor of the Month for The Wake Tech Foundation. The club donated $18,175 to the Fostering Bright Futures program, a public-private partnership supporting young adults who have aged out of the foster care system and are pursuing education and training at Wake Tech.

Each year, the club holds a successful golf tournament to support community initiatives as well as the Fostering Bright Futures program. Since 2012, the Rotary Club of the Capital City has donated approximately $60,000 towards this program.