Rotary Club of Abbotsford's 'Blessings In A Backpack'

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Ours is a community driven project involving the Abbotsford Food Bank, Abbotsford School District and over 30 different community partners which provides a weekly backpack to over 170 low income children in 12 elementary school each Friday that contains 2 breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and snacks. These students currently depend on in school breakfast and/or lunch programs as their sole source of daily nutrition during the school, but have been going without reliable, healthy foods from the end of each school week until Monday morning. This program is changing the lives of students and their families, made a noticeable difference in the classroom, garnered significant media attention, raised over $95,000 in community donations in less than 6 months and is displaying the very best of the Rotary spirit, by touching the hearts and minds of an entire community and creating the foundation towards addressing child poverty and hunger in a long-term, sustainable way.

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Rotary Club of Arlington's Haller Park Children's Playground

 

The community of Arlington, Washington, has never had a complete playground park for children. In 2013, The Rotary Club of Arlington decided to take the lead in making a significant change in this situation. Since 2013 was the 25th Anniversary of our annual fundraiser, "The Great Stilly Duck Dash", our club took the opportunity to take a leap forward in our fundraising efforts and provide the financial means to construct a "State of the Art" Children's Playground. This Children's Playground will impact not only the community of Arlington, but also the greater Arlington area and Snohomish County. The Park sits adjacent to our largest County Trail, "The Centennial Trail" which is used by thousands of people yearly, both young and old.

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Rotary Club of Everett's Next Generation Project

Opportunity gaps exist for students who lack the resources, role models, community and family support for a higher level of post-secondary achievement. The Next Generation Project is designed to specifically address those opportunities gaps through a unique collaboration between the Everett community, the Rotary Club of Everett and over 850 students within the Everett Public Schools' system. Research indicates a growing population of students not achieving their potential; who come from families with little or no college-attending history and who desire to enroll in a rigorous academic program with the ambitious purpose of becoming college ready. The Next Generation Project works with the AVID program; a nationwide program of proven success for students in grades 3 - 12 that is dedicated to preparing the least served students to enter and succeed in college.

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Rotary Clubs of Coquitlam Sunrise and Meadow Ridge's Schools in Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s poverty levels are second only to Haiti, and Jiquillio is one of the poorest in Nicaragua. In 1992 a Tsunami destroyed six blocks of the village. Villagers, although devastated, began to rebuild only to encounter Hurricane Mitch in 1998, causing even more damage.

The population of Jiquilillo is 1,500 including 450 children attending three K-6 schools. Families, 4-5 children, have traditionally relied on the fishing industry as the main source of income. While the community is extremely poor they eagerly supported and proudly worked with us on the project(s).

The RC of Coquitlam Sunrise acted as the sponsoring club with the RC of Meadow Ridge, and Global Change for Children as partners. We were able to secure a District Grant and a NGO, Together Works Society, in Jiquilillo.

The project consisted of 5 separate programs: (1) to assist with the construction of the kitchens; (2) to replace/repair the roof on 2 of the 3 schools; (3) to prepare one of the schools inside and out for painting; (4) to purchase school supplies for the students; (5) to purchase, prepare and serve food for the local soup kitchen. Total cost of the project(s) was $13,000.

While there are many worthwhile projects in developing countries, this project is unique because it involves hands-on participation plus it has beach side accommodations. The Together Works Society operates out of Monty's Beach Lodge (montysbeachlodge.com) . This allows for a relaxing vacation, within a hands-on work project. We would work until lunch, and then spend the rest of the day at the beach. The project was as much about Rotary Fellowship as it was working. Not only did we help improve the lives of the local children we also had a lot of fun.

We plan on going back at the end of 2014 to work on a vocational school for Jiquilillo and we are looking for partners. We need partners that will not only invest dollars (Minimum $2,500) plus Rotary members to do hands-on work. RC of Coquitlam Sunrise will again act as the sponsor and we hope to obtain a Global Grant.

For clubs that are looking for a first time international project this is as simple as it gets. For more information contact the Project Chair: Malcolm Kennedy
malcolm.laptop@shaw.ca

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