Steve Harricks Christmas Program
Our holiday project was named after a Rotary who was committed to brightening the holiday for those children who are less fortunate. Morgantown Rotary has tried to carry on this tradition. Each year we contact a foster care program and ask them for names of children who have been removed from their homes, we get first names only, sizes of closes they need and a toy that they would enjoy.
Foster children are often removed from their home with out any clothes or belongings, most of the time because they are living in terrible conditions or are being abused. Most small children are so use to living this way they no other way of living so when they are taken from their parents with none of their own things it is devastating.
Our Rotary club collects money each year to provide these kids with as much as our funds will allow, we host a holiday dinner, and bring in a wonderful Santa to hand out the gifts, the children listen to the “Night before Christmas” with much anticipation. One year a little girl wanted a guitar; it was so amazing to see how appreciative this five year old child was when she opened the gift. As many of us have never seen such needs as these kids have. We get them an outfit and again, socks, shoes or what ever the budget allows. Our purpose is to show these children that there really is hope in the world, and to show the foster parents how much we appreciate them taking in children and caring for them.
Clay Battelle Scholarships
Our Rotary Club is Partners in Education with Clay Battelle High school located on the Western End of Monongalia County. Each year our club has given up to $4,000.00 in scholarships to those students who meet the criteria set forth by the committee. Students are the future of tomorrow.
Many years ago the Rotary clubs in Monongalia County got together to build the Miracle League Field for children who have special needs. Since that time our club has sponsored a team, we give $350.00 which helps get the individuals hats, shirts and any type of special equipment that they need. We also give $500.00 to help provide an end of the season picnic for the kids and their families, Rotarian’s have always been welcome to attend and it is a great event. We have members of our club who have children on the teams and it is great to see them make such accomplishments.
Interact is a High School Rotary Club, the students learn “Service above Self”,” The Four Way Test” and how to give back to the community. It is a service organization, they come to the soup kitchen to help, and do other projects in their communities, our club sponsors them by giving them pins, banners, certificates and coach them at every opportunity to be community leaders and future Rotarians.
RYLA – Rotary Youth Leadership Academy
We sponsor students to go to this two day weekend event that teaches our youth (8th graders) how to become better leaders of tomorrow. They learn the Four Way Test, basic principles and integrity. The event is held a Jackson’s Mill, all Rotarians are invited to volunteer, and the curriculum is set up by Rotary International, and is followed threw by Rotarians from our District.
Morgantown has one of the largest homeless populations for a town our size. We also have many folks in the community that basically have tough times and need a hot meal. One day a month on the fourth Saturday of the month, we provide a hot meal at noon, at the Trinity Episcopal Church for all those who want to come. We average any where from 40 to 60 individuals needing a meal.
Sundale Senior Picnic
Sundale is a not for profit facility that tries to involve seniors from all area facilities to special events. Our elderly are those who have given of themselves to make what we have today. Sundale has a picnic and invites all area facilities and seniors, as well as club members to come out have a nice picnic lunch, socialize with neighbors from other facilities that they may have known at one time or another, and to play bingo (the favorite activity of all). It is normally held at the Westover Senior Center pavilion during the summer. It is a way to give back to those who have given so much.
One of Rotary International focus areas is Literacy, every year we provide some type of literacy program to the community, such as last year it was a financial literacy class that taught folks how to help others how to mange their income. It was aimed toward social workers who help individuals in the community. In the past we have provided dictionaries for schools, books for babies and supported events with Literacy Volunteers.
Through education and continued community involvement, Empty Bowls Monongalia will provide resources and broker assistance to Monongalia County agencies supporting individuals and families threatened by food insecurity. Morgantown Rotary gives every year toward these effort. For more information about Empty Bowls please visit our web site at www.ebmon.org.
Boys State and Girls State
This is much like RYLA where students go for a weekend to learn how to become leaders; they learn integrity, responsibilities and development.
Stop Hunger Now
Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 15 years. Since 1998, the organization has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world.
Stop Hunger Now created its meal packaging program, in 2005. The program perfected the assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 23 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. Each meal costs only 29 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf-life of two years and transports quickly. Stop Hunger Now works with international partners that ship and distribute the meals in-country.
The packaging operation is mobile enough to go wherever volunteers are located, and can be adapted to accommodate as few as 25 and as many as 500 volunteers at a time. One SHN packaging event can result in the packaging of more than 1,000,000 meals. The use of volunteers for product packaging has resulted in an extremely cost-effective operation while, at the same time, increasing awareness of global hunger and food insecurity issues across the world.
Stop Hunger Now provides over 70% of its meals to support transformational development programs such as school feeding programs, vocational training programs, early childhood development programs, orphanages, and medical clinics. Working with these programs helps enhance lives by giving beneficiaries the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty through education, skills development, and health care while also receiving much needed nutrition. Stop Hunger Now’s goal is to allocate 80% of its meals to transformational development programs by 2015.
Every year Stop Hunger Now reserves 10% of its projected meals to respond right away to crisis situations including natural disasters, conflict and famine. In addition to providing food for crisis relief, Stop Hunger also works to meet the immediate needs of those suffering from hunger. Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program operates throughout the US and internationally. Morgantown Rotary not only provides money for the project but one time a year in April we help package the meals as well.
Outbound Exchange Students
Students who apply to Rotary to go abroad to study and learn other cultures, our club is a sponsor but the application process has to go through the District.
Inbound Exchange Students
These are students who apply to come to the United States, the Morgantown clubs go together at times to share the responsibility for these students, members of our club or community house them, send them to school and give them every opportunity possible to learn the culture. If sponsored by our club we give them $75.00 a month living expense, and pay for the school lunches.
Eye Institute of America
We donate to the Eye Institute of America, under the direction of Dr. Raju. Physicians from other countries are brought to the United States to learn a procedure that can reverse childhood blindness. The Physicians can then go back to their country and do this procedure that helps thousands of children each day to see again and in most cases for the first time.
Global Diabetes Project
Our club is the host club for a pilot diabetes prevention and education program. This project provides various interventions including education, lifestyle change counseling, healthy food preparation, and regular monitoring of glucose levels. Other parties include the WVU School of Public Health, the Ross Foundation, The Eye Foundation of America, the Charleston WV Vandalia Rotary Club, and the Rotary Club of St Thomas II (US Virgin Islands). Our club contributed $5,000 of the $52,000 allocated for this project. In the future, we will contribute funds to do a global project hosted be the Rotary Club of St Thomas II.