By Evelyn Aaron, Communication Director, Rotaract Club of Canal Fulton, Ohio, USA
If you ask any one of the members of the Canal Fulton Rotary Club why they joined, they will tell you it’s the sense of community that binds us all together. Many of us have spent significant portions of our lives in the greater Canal Fulton area, and we want to provide our children and our town with the same helping hands that we have been offered our entire lives.
Canal Fulton’s Rotary Club is tirelessly active in our community. The annual Mother of All Races event, held on Mother’s Day weekend, is a huge hit. And they are currently one of the driving forces behind our town’s forthcoming YMCA (just to name a few projects). In the last two years, the Interact Club they sponsor at Northwest High School has grown from 25 to over 60 student members, taking on countless projects every year. While these are strong clubs and major forces in our community, there was a gap to be filled. There was no Rotary-sponsored club for young adults to stay active in the community.
Our Rotaract Club quickly grew from the one person who started the group to the five people she contacted and met with in just days, to the 15 friends that came to our first meeting. That base of people has encouraged new people to join as members or simply take part in our service projects.
We all serve to the greatest capacities we can manage, and that is what makes our Rotaract club special. We are busy young adults balancing school, careers, and families, as well as the sports leagues and service initiatives we committed to prior to joining this group. And yet we are making this club a huge success by keeping in contact with one another over our Facebook page and in a group chat, constantly throwing out new ideas, and frequently coming together over pot-luck dinners.
Since our first meeting in June, we have volunteered our time at a baseball tournament for the physically and mentally disabled; at the local high school’s Alumni Football Game; at a volleyball tournament to raise money for a child with cancer; at a service day to clean up the facility and property where we and our Rotary club both meet; at a regional food bank where we spend two hours in the early morning cleaning and packing potatoes; and at our local community cupboard. All of this has been possible through a grant we received when we started this group and with the help of our Rotary club, who with their years of service advise us on projects.
In the future, we plan to purchase gifts for a family for Christmas, cook meals at a local soup kitchen next summer, and lend a hand at Canton’s Total Living Center.
By doing these activities as a Rotaract Club, we are creating that sense of community that we all enjoyed as children. We are excited to see all of the help we can offer and the smiles we can create.