Community Service

The Community Service committees include the East Durham Children's Initiative, the Poinsettia Fundraiser, The Scholarship Committee and the Salvation Army Bell Ringing Committee.

Ringing Bells for Salvation Army

Rotary-Bell-Ringers-12-12-15webRotarians filled 90 time slots, resulting in 90 Acts of Service!

Many thanks to all who helped with this great service project and to Tom Kerns for organizing it.

In the picture new member Emily Oliver and Past President Susan Ross take their turns ringing the bells.


Foundation – Polio: We Are This Close

DallasStallingsPolioAt the Rotary International Convention thirty years ago, 1985, RI adopted a new challenge that seem unrealistic at the time.  Rotarians were challenged to begin a journey to eradicate Polio from the face of the earth.  Polio was a much dreaded disease at the time, leaving many people in our world, especially children, permanently crippled or worse. The theme slogan, END POLIO NOW,  has been a constant part of Rotary life ever sense.  Rotarians accepted this challenge in 1985 and today, thirty years later, we can actually see the end of Polio in sight.  According to recent reports from RI, there are only 36 active cases of Polio in the world today and they are in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For years, now, as we have neared this goal of a Polio free world, we have been reminded by popular stars, politicians, ordinary people and a host of others that “We are this close…” to meeting our goal.  While this seems like a small goal in the remainder to a thirty year crusade, it really is not quite so simple.  Even if all current cases of Polio in these two areas were to be conquered, such areas must remain Polio Free for three years in a row to earn a clear certificate.

World Polio Day this year, then, has much for us to celebrate.  We will celebrate being “this close…” to eradicating a medical enemy that has crippled hundreds of thousands.  But we will also want to celebrate the lives of many volunteers who unfortunately lost their lives during this multi-year crusade.  They were murdered by people who sought to side-track this mighty effort.

To celebrate this year, join Durham Rotary Club in a walk around Duke’s East Campus on October 24.  Our club has invited clubs from other parts of the world with whom we have partnered in many RI projects to join us on this walk.   Wear your End Polio Now pin as a reminder to others.  Purchase and give a pin to a friend and encourage her/him to also wear it. And consider making a gift.  “We are this close…”, but we are not there yet.  We still need your financial involvement.

Hope to see you on the walk on October 24 at East Campus.

Dallas Stallings – Foundation Chair

Little Libraries Built

We’ve seen at a several meetings the Little Library that was built by the JOE Houde and Todd Taylor and painted by our resident artist Carolyn Aaronson.  As part of the 9/11 community service day Durham Rotary teamed up to recruit almost two dozen volunteers to build and paint nine more of the “share one, leave one” little lending libraries that will be located around town.

The event was organized by Rotarians Forrest Perry of the YMCA, JOE Houde and Todd Taylor of Duke Corporate Education.

Houde is working with the East Durham Children’s Initiative and the Little Free Library national organization to find good sites in Durham.  Partners such as Book Harvest and the Durham Public Library along with independent donation drives such as the one held by the YMCA and Duke Corporate Education will provide books to stock the boxes.

About two dozen volunteers helped assemble and paint the new Little Libraries at “the Cage” at the American Tobacco Campus.  “We had several children really get into the painting” Houde said. “Several of the boxes are signed with little handprints.”

The Little Free Libraries provide locations where all varieties of books can be contributed, taken, returned and swapped out.  Little Libraries is a movement that has built and placed over 30,000 of these structures around the world.  The website of the organization is and it’s goal is to build literacy friendly neighborhoods.

“These facilities will dovetail nicely into our overall literacy efforts in the community,” said Todd Taylor, founder of the club’s popular “Reading Ranger” literacy and tutoring program at YE Smith Elementary School that encourages reading in the school year.  As a way to promote year-round reading through the summer months, the Durham Rotary Club partners with Book Harvest and other organizations to equip schoolchildren with summer book supplies.

“If the kids are that hungry for books, we will certainly try to feed that desire for new material,” Taylor said.

Fill the Bus Strives for Goal

Strategically located between two big suppliers of back to school supplies, Office Depot and Sam’s Club, Rotarians from the Durham Clubs collected lots of them Saturday in a big step towards reaching this years goal of $120,000 of supplies for Crayons2Calculators.

The interview of District Governor Newman Aguiar being filmed in one of the pictures can be found at the WNCN website here. Short but sweet!

If you missed the event, click through to the C2C website to make a donation.

Rotary Volunteering-100 Acts of Service

EDCI Summer Lunch Program - Picture from Ellen Reckhow

EDCI Summer Lunch Program – Picture from Ellen Reckhow

 1.  “Fill the Bus” -Near Office Depot -Sat, Aug 15 Need help 2-4; 4-6    

2.  EDCI Summer Lunch Program:  Need 2 Rotarians for our last day -Tues, Aug 11.
3.  Coming Aug 17 — Sign up time for Reading Rangers and other educational programs.
4.  Coming Soon — Rotary at Centerfest,  Sat & Sun, Sept. 19 – 20
 Our Club will work the entrance gates and also the booths selling cokes and t-shirts.
In addition, all Rotary Clubs will combine to have a 20′ x 20′ “Rotary Sponsor Tent”.

Are you interested in helping on Saturday or Sunday?  Go to SignupGenius to let us know:    

5.  Update Your “Individual Acts of Service” for 2015 Centennial Year:

Take a Kid to the Ballgame

Kid to the BallgameEverybody is a kid at heart a a Durham Bulls game. These kids are Rotarians who hosted some of the younger type at the August 2 game at the Durham Athletic Park. From the left are Rusine Mitchell Sinclair, the District 7710 Governor Elect, Durham Rotarian and City Manager Tom Bonfield ( professional ballplayer once himself,) Durham Rotary President Lois Deloatch and Durham Rotarian and County Commissioner Fred Foster.