Community Service

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Rotary Club of Arlington Community Service Projects
 
Our club’s Community Service Committee is charged with improving lives by responding to needs, and encouraging and fostering the ideal of service to the personal, business, and community life of every Rotarian.  It provides Rotarians with the opportunity to exemplify the Rotary motto: Service Above Self.  To put this objective into action, our committee created monthly programs focused on bringing to life the Rotary International monthly themes, but more importantly to provide a meaningful impact in our community. 
 
Backpacks for Camp Grady Spruce
Club members prepared during our meeting 100 backpacks with camp supplies and delivered them to our adopted school, Webb Elementary, for the children attending Camp Grady Spruce (http://campgradyspruce.org), a YMCA-affiliated outdoor program to nurture character development in campers by teaching the values of respect, caring, responsibility and honesty.  Value & Impact:  The 100 backpacks and supplies cost over $500, and the estimated value of the volunteer time* to prepare and deliver the backpacks exceeded $3,000.    
 
“Signs of Humanity” Homelessness Program
 
Our club spearheaded the planning of a program that included the viewing of a documentary, an art exhibit of homeless posters, and a roundtable discussion with audience Q&A that included the film maker, a key person featured in the documentary, and a local man who had moved from homelessness to being gainfully employed and giving back through service on the Arlington Life Shelter Board.  All Rotary clubs in Arlington were asked and participated in facilitating the event.  Value & Impact:  Five hundred people attended the event, and 250 necessity bags were distributed and attendees were called upon to share with the homeless, homeless shelters, or take back to their organizations to facilitate creating more.  On the Ask Arlington App, over 200 random acts of kindness were reported from those who attended and heeded the call to action. 
 
Salvation Army “Angel Tree”
Our club filled Angel Tree wishes for 75 children as part of the Salvation Army’s annual program to provide clothing and toys at Christmas time for children in the Arlington area.  (https://www.tsamm.org/angeltree/?c=472B07B9FCF2C2451E8781E944BF5F77CD8457C8#home).  Value & Impact:  The estimated value of the clothing and toys donated by our club was $7,500, and the estimated value of volunteer time* that our club members dedicated to this program exceeded $2,500.   
 
Holiday Cards for Seniors
 
Club members prepared during our meeting 100 cards with hand-written holiday wishes to the seniors at Greenfield Residences of Arlington (http://www.greenfieldseniorliving.com/community/tx/arlington/).  Members delivered the cards to the individual residents.  Value & Impact:  The estimated value of the volunteer time* to prepare and deliver the holiday cards was approximately $250.  Additionally, this project allowed our club to offer holiday wishes to the seniors at Greenfield and the caretakers on staff who work with them.
 
Blood Drives
In connection with Carter Blood Care (http://www.carterbloodcare.org), our club conducts two blood drives in January and June each year for Rotarians and members of the community to donate blood.  For the blood drives in 2017-2018, we extended invitations to other Rotary Clubs in the area to participate in these drives.  Additionally, Becky Swindell from Carter Blood Care spoke about the impact and importance of blood donations.  Value & Impact:  Each blood drive lasts approximately four hours, and club members assist in coordinating sign-ups and directing donors during the drive.  The blood drive in January is particularly important because this month is typically a low-supply month for Carter Blood Care.
 
Valentine Cards to Webb Elementary
Our club delivered cards with hand-written Valentine’s Day wishes to all of the approximately 100 students in the 3rd grade in connection with the curriculum at Webb Elementary teaching about civility, respect, and wellness (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Webb-Elementary-School/145995718757871).  Value & Impact:  The estimated value of the volunteer time* to prepare and deliver the Valentine’s Cards was approximately $750.
 
Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast
Approximately 30 club members attended the 3nd Annual Arlington Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, which is designed to bring together members of the community for an inspirational and uplifting breakfast with special messages from local church leaders about promoting unity in our community.  Value & Impact:  Our club members contributed $1,200 to attend the Breakfast, and the estimated value of volunteer time* in attending the event was over $1,400. 
 
Cardboard Regatta
Our club provided $1,000 to help sponsor students from Nichols Junior High and Carter Junior High to participate in the River Legacy Regatta (https://riverlegacy.org/cardboard-boat-regatta), which challenges amateur boat builders to design, build, and navigate boats made entirely of corrugated cardboard.  A large majority of students at each school are considered economically disadvantaged, and neither the schools nor the students’ families would have the financial resources to participate in this fun and educational event.  Additionally, our sponsored school, Webb Elementary, feeds into Nichols offering our club a chance to continue mentoring these students throughout their educational career.  Value & Impact:  In addition to the monetary contribution and the qualitative impact for the participating students, the River Legacy Foundation renamed their spirit award to the “The Rotary Club of Arlington Rah Rah Trophy” and recognized our club on their website and in marketing materials, thus promoting the club’s service to the community.
 
Adoption Fair
Rotary Club of Arlington partners with other local Rotary clubs as well as the organization, Our Community Our Kids, to host and support the “Be a Hero – Adopt a Child” adoption matching event.  Value & Impact:  Our club provided a financial commitment of $600, and the estimated value of volunteer time* for this event is approximately $700.  More importantly, this is an event where prospective adoptive families can make personal connections with children who are seeking a permanent family through adoption.
 
Arlington Independent School District Awards
Rotarians volunteer to present Rotary Awards to an outstanding boy and girl at each of more than 60 schools in the Arlington Independent School District.  Value & Impact:  Our volunteers recognize the award recipients at each school’s function in front of schoolmates and parents.  The estimated value of the volunteer time* to coordinate and present the awards is over $1,500.  This service to the community is one of the longest-running programs of our club, and our immediate past president, Valerie Landry, is a former recipient of a Rotary Award, thus demonstrating the lasting impact of this program.
 
* Estimated values of volunteer time on various tasks is based on the number of person-hours spent on task multiplied by the national average estimated value of volunteer time $24.14; available at https://independentsector.org/news-post/value-volunteer-time/).
 
Rotarians have put Service Above Self for more than a century. Through the Avenue of Community Service, Rotarians give back to the places they live in. The projects are as varied as the Rotary clubs that carry them out, but all address the needs of a particular group. 

Local or regional programs

Community Service
When clubs complete effective service projects, they improve the community, bring people together, and reflect well on Rotary. When Rotary is viewed as a positive force in the community, its membership strengthens and grows, adding to the organization's ability to serve worldwide.

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