Delivering Hope: Rotary’s Medical Aid to Zambia (Aired December 3rd, 2023)

In a recent humanitarian effort, Rotarians in Zambia, assisted by various organizations, accomplished the remarkable feat of delivering 8.5 tons of medical equipment and supplies to Machili, Zambia. The focus of this substantial aid was primarily on improving maternal and dental health care in the region. This initiative was particularly crucial given Zambia’s high rates of dental issues and maternal mortality. The project, which was significantly funded through a global grant, cost around $350,000, although the initial budget was set at $49,000.

One of the key organizations involved in this project was Project Cure, known for its commitment to providing medical supplies to needy areas. Their contribution and continuous efforts can be supported through online donations.

Further details of the project were discussed by Rotarian Stephen Caine on Radio Rotary. He elaborated on the challenging journey of shipping the medical equipment to a refurbished health center in rural Zambia. The Bernhills-Baltimore Lake Rotary Club played a pivotal role in raising the necessary funds for this mission. Despite facing delays and the potential for scams, the equipment was successfully shipped in a 40-foot container from Savannah, Georgia, to Zambia. The project saw contributions from various individuals and organizations, including a notable donation of $5,000 from a 90-year-old man.

Stephen Caine, a retired military officer and active Rotarian, was instrumental in coordinating the delivery of medical supplies to Zambia. The Rotary Club, which meets at Boston Spa Town Hall on Monday nights, continues to be a beacon of service and support in various community and international projects.

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January 17, 2024 · Posted in Hudson Valley  

Rotary’s Humanitarian Mission in Ukraine (Aired November 26, 2023)

Radio Rotary recently featured an inspiring segment on Rotary’s humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. BJ Mickelson, a dedicated Rotarian, took center stage in discussing his remarkable contributions to aiding Ukrainian refugees. Initially, BJ successfully raised between $2,500 and $3,000, which he used to distribute essential supplies in Germany to those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

Demonstrating an unwavering commitment, BJ later ramped up his efforts by raising an impressive $28,000. He not only made informative presentations in the Hudson Valley about the situation but also personally traveled to Ukraine as part of the relief initiatives. This hands-on approach in the conflict zone included delivering critical medical supplies and securing housing for internally displaced persons, underscoring the dire needs of those affected by the conflict.

BJ spoke about the historic and culturally rich town of Lviv in Ukraine, which he highlighted for its significance. Beyond his immediate relief efforts, BJ plans to continue supporting Ukraine, particularly with a focus on helping children during Christmas. This year, his mission involves a unique approach – using his Santa Claus persona to raise funds.

The initiative aims to provide Ukrainian children with Ukrainian language Paddington Bear books during the holiday season. These books, priced at $15 each, are more than just gifts; they are symbols of hope and comfort to the young recipients. The proceeds from this initiative are dedicated to this cause, with BJ’s Rotary club, Highland, playing an active role. The effort is part of a broader mission encapsulated on the website, which serves as a platform for donations and spreading awareness.

This heartwarming story not only highlights the relentless spirit of Rotarians in bringing aid and solace but also sheds light on the wider impact of conflict on communities, especially children. As BJ continues his commendable work, he also harbors hopes for peace and the eventual return of Crimea to Ukraine.

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January 17, 2024 · Posted in Hudson Valley  

Heartwarming Holiday Tradition: Toys for Tots (Aired November 18, 2023)

In a recent edition of Radio Rotary, the focus was on the admirable work of Toys for Tots, a program dedicated to bringing joy to children during the holiday season. The show featured insights from Sergeant Samuel Lewis, Mike Binns, and Randy Turner, who play key roles in the Hudson Valley Toys for Tots and Ulster County Toys for Tots programs.

Toys for Tots, a program initiated by the Marine Corps Reserve, began with a simple yet profound goal: to provide gifts to children who might otherwise go without during Christmas. It has grown into a nationwide campaign, with the mission of ensuring that every child receives at least one toy during the holiday season. The program’s logo, designed by Walt Disney himself, symbolizes the initiative’s enduring commitment to bringing happiness to children.

The success of Toys for Tots is largely driven by community involvement. From the donations of new, unwrapped toys to monetary contributions, every effort counts in making a significant impact. Local radio support, particularly from stations like WBPM and WGHQ, has been instrumental in spreading awareness and rallying community support.

An important aspect of the program is its local focus. Donations made in a county stay within that county, ensuring that the benefits are felt close to home. The program has evolved to include a literacy component, providing books to children in low-income neighborhoods to promote education and break the cycle of poverty.

Volunteers play a crucial role in the success of Toys for Tots. From assisting with in-person registration to sorting and distributing toys, community members can contribute in various ways. The program’s reach and effectiveness are a testament to the collective effort of dedicated individuals and the generous support of the community.

Toys for Tots is more than just a holiday charity; it’s a beacon of hope and joy for children and families in need. Its commitment to bringing smiles to children’s faces during the holiday season and its ongoing efforts to promote literacy highlight the program’s broader impact on the community.

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January 12, 2024 · Posted in Hudson Valley  

Empowering Readers: Red Hook Library Turns 125 (Aired November 12th 2023)

In the latest episode of Radio Rotary, we spoke with Alex Geller of the Red Hook Library on the importance and evolving role of local libraries in the community. The Red Hook Library, a notable institution, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Established in 1898, it has been a cornerstone of the community, adapting to the changing needs of its patrons over the years.

The library, housed in an architecturally unique octagonal building built in 1865, is more than just a place for books. It has transformed into a hub of community activity, offering diverse programs and services. The addition of a children’s library and community room has expanded its offerings, making it a more inclusive space for all age groups.

Today, libraries are more relevant than ever. With the advent of the internet and digital media, libraries have evolved to meet the digital needs of their communities. They offer a range of services from internet access and computer literacy assistance to online resources and educational programs. Libraries also provide a social infrastructure, offering a sense of community and connection, especially vital during times of isolation like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Red Hook Library, for instance, hosts language classes including Spanish and American Sign Language, and offers English as a Second Language classes. They also provide unique services like homebound book deliveries, ensuring that everyone in the community has access to their resources.

The library’s role in fostering early childhood literacy is highlighted through programs like reading a thousand books before kindergarten. This initiative not only promotes literacy but also encourages parental involvement in their children’s education.

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the Red Hook Library is hosting a community event on December 1st, emphasizing the library’s commitment to being a vital part of its community’s fabric. The event is an opportunity to acknowledge the library’s rich history and its role in shaping the community’s future.

In conclusion, local libraries like Red Hook continue to be essential community resources. They adapt to meet the changing needs of their patrons, providing not just books, but also technological assistance, educational programs, and a sense of community. The celebration of Red Hook Library’s 125th anniversary is a testament to its enduring value and impact in the community.


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January 12, 2024 · Posted in Hudson Valley  

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