A Great District Grant Idea to Start the New Year

I know that every District has its own rules for District grants, but Rotary District 7620 sure makes it easy to get one.  If your club has given $100 per capita to the Rotary Foundation SHARE program, if you don’t have any previous grant paperwork outstanding, if you have a project that engages Rotarians and promotes Rotary, if your project fits into one of TRF’s six areas of focus, and if you take the time to fill out a two- page District grant application, your club is highly likely to get a grant approved.  

Recently the Rotary Club of Columbia Patuxent completed the first of a two-part project that supports the local homeless shelter in Howard County, Grass Roots.  The program, called Code Blue, provides meal kits to families that stay in Grass Roots shelters during extremely cold, or “Code Blue” conditions.  These non-perishable meal kits cost between $2.90 and $4.22, and they are extremely important for families needing shelter.

Here’s Barbara Petilli, Columbia-Patuxent’s service chair, explaining the program:

The club’s total Code Blue project cost is approx. $3,600.  At a recent  morning Rotary meeting the club completed Phase I of the project and packed $1,700 worth of meals.  The remaining funds will be used to do a similar program working side by side with the club’s Interact club at Hammond High School.  How much fun is that going to be?!

Here’s what we packed in each food kit.  For some of us (many of us?), going around the counter and grabbing one of each item and putting it in a plastic bag pushed the limits of our intellectual abilities.  
Each bag included this message from our club.  Can you imagine a better sentiment to share than, ” you are not alone!”  

If you are looking for a way to break up your club’s meeting routine, why not schedule a service project instead of a speaker program?  A few of us stayed late to finish the job, but most of the work was done by the time we would typically adjourn the meeting.  

Thanks to Barbara and President Alice Ford for cooking up this terrific program.  And thanks to Linda Ostovitz, Dave Lerer, and the rest of the team who is  learning to integrate our local projects with our eligibility to apply for District Grants.  

Why doesn’t every club that generously supports the Rotary Foundation SHARE program, AND takes the time to do their own fundraising to support local community projects, apply for a District grant to leverage the impact of their project?!

Tom Allen and Kellie Lego scientifically putting food bags into boxes 
Pretty much the same crew taking their mind-deadening 10th trip (I lost count) around the food counter.  Don’t they look happy? 
Thanks to Van Paris Moving and Storage for donating the boxes.  And thanks to Russ Antico,  Jim Elhe, Geoffrey Carton, Lon Chesnut, Caroline Sherman (she really didn’t carry any of the boxes but she sure makes the photo look better) and yours truly.  

What?  You’ve been meaning to watch the Rotary documentary, Dare to Dream, How Rotary Became the Heart and Soul of Polio Eradication, but haven’t gotten around to it?  You can rent it for ONLY $4.99.  You will be glad you invested an hour of your time to learn about our amazing history of becoming a leader in the polio eradication effort.  www.daretodreamfilm.com