Pleasant Valley Rotarian, registered nurse, and RadioRotary producer Kathy Kruger is on the other side of the microphone as co-hosts Jonah Triebwasser and Sarah O’Connell interview her about the Rotaplast program to correct cleft lip or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. Cleft lip or palate causes many health problems as well as affecting speech, impairing ability to eat, and causing social rejection. Kruger has personal experience with the program as a participant in a mission to the Philippines but she also has been the principal representative from Rotaplast to District 7210. A typical Rotaplast team of about 15 medical professionals and 15 nonmedical volunteers, often Rotarians, travels to a locations where few facilities exist for repair of these defects, then over a couple of weeks treats hundreds of patients, mostly children but some adults as well.
RadioRotary interviews Sue Puett, Executive Director of Warwick Reformed Church’s Backpack Snack Attack program, and Warwick Valley Rotarian Stan Martin about this effective approach to making sure that children who receive free lunches at school during the week do not go hungry on weekends. The program started in 2009 by Warwick Reformed Church with a financial assist from a Rotary District Grant arranged by Warwick Rotary and now feeds more than 300 school children in the Town of Warwick, NY. The Backpack Snack Attack provides 13 to 14 non-refrigerated individual-sized food items such as pudding cups, cheese-and-crackers, and fresh fruit to children identified by school guidance counselors as in need. There is also a summer program of weekly food distribution.
Salvation Army Captains Sam and Jenny Alarcon visit RadioRotary to describe some of the many ways that The Salvation Army works to solve problems in Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley. The Salvation Army, founded in London by William Booth in 1865, is a worldwide Christian church that is organized along military lines. Its mission includes meeting human needs without discrimination. From its first days it has focused on helping the homeless, addicts and alcoholics, and the hungry. Many may know it from collecting money outside store entrances at holiday time—the bell ringers in uniform are Salvationists, while many others are volunteers. The Alarcons describe various Salvation Army projects from after school for children to centers for seniors.
Even before devastating earthquakes hit Nepal and surrounding territory in April and May of 2015, the plight of numerous children in that Himalayan nation was desperate. Many young children were being sold by their parents to work in Indian factories; young girls were often forced into prostitution. The Blue Butterfly Foundation, created by Lauren Yanks, has helped save over 2,000 children from trafficking, the use of force or fraud to cause humans to provide labor or sex against their will. In this radio interview, Ms. Yanks tells the powerful story of how the Blue Butterfly Foundation was founded and named. She urges listeners to become aware that their pursuit of evermore inexpensive items and food is contributing to this international tragedy.