In the spirit of Reconnect Week, I am proud to share how our alumni association is engaging with Rotary alumni and area Rotary clubs through service projects and social outings.
Chartered in 2016, our alumni association has approximately 100 members. Their connection to Rotary ranges from participation in a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event, a Rotary Youth Exchange, to just about any Rotary program. We also have ambassadorial scholars and Rotary Peace Fellows. Since our members’ ages range from in their teens to over, we make an effort to create events and projects that appeal to people, no matter where they might be on their Rotary journey.
For instance, we are currently leading a project in Jacksonville, Florida, USA, to unite people in action around the two main issues of this year: the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice movement. Known as “Rotary Feeding Heroes,” the project is engaging alumni and area Rotarians to support both frontline health care workers and local, Black-owned businesses.
Project funds are specifically being used to buy meals from Black-owned restaurants that will in turn be donated to health care workers treating COVID-19 patients at a local hospital. We are projecting to buy 75-100 meals from two different food trucks. The trucks are planning to park at the hospital, where they will have the opportunity to interact with the health care workers, and vice versa. The intention is to connect the dots between these two issues and show the community the power and ability of Rotary to advance peace and goodwill.
On a similar note, we partnered with other alumni, local Rotarians, and Rise Against Hunger earlier this year to package over 17,000 meals for those in need. The event took place in February, just a few weeks before the pandemic and ensuing social distancing practices began to seriously impact the United States.
Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other assistance around the world. Each year, we work side by side with Rotarians to pack thousands of meals for the organization. It’s a humbling event and a great way to integrate alumni with Rotarians around the very essence of “Service Above Self.”
In addition to service projects, we work to connect our members with local clubs through various social functions. In September, for example, we hosted “Boatary Day,” which was an opportunity for local alumni and members of Rotary, Rotaract, and Rotex to enjoy fellowship and fun at the beach. It was an enjoyable way to connect these various people through Rotary.
These examples demonstrate our alumni association’s commitment to keeping our members involved with Rotary. For more information on who we are and what we do, visit https://rotarydistrict6970.org/alumni-committee/.