RadioRotary interviews four members of Rhinebeck Rotary at the historic Beekman Arms during the Club’s regular Monday lunch: David Albahary, Nat Charny, Club President Phil Meltzer, and Barbara Markell. One of the main projects sponsored by the Club is improving a school near León, Nicaragua. The main workers in Nicaragua each year are about 20 Interact students from the local high school, aided by school counselors and adult chaperones. The students mix concrete, dig trenches, and otherwise work all day during their visit to site, while during the rest of the year they raise from $10,000 to $20,000 for the project. Locally, Rhinebeck Rotary is proud of the work of the Community Service Committee, which handles projects that Rhinebeck residents are unable to deal with themselves, ranging from plumbing to carpentry. Rhinebeck is also one of the Clubs in the District that participates annually in the Youth Exchange Program, bringing one or two students from abroad each year to live with families in Rhinebeck and attend the local high school. The main source of funds for all these projects is an annual golf tournament, which has more than 100 golfers and many sponsors, especially the local banks.
Jonah Triebwasser interviews seven Rotarians from Australia, England, the United States, and Papua New Guinea about international projects that include Our Rainbow House, which educated orphans and other vulnerable children in Zambia; the Guilford Eye Project, which helps prevent and cure eye diseases in India and Nigeria; the Asia-Pacific Center for Neuromodulation, which employs deep-brain stimulation to combat Parkinson’s disease and other brain illnesses; Crutches 4 Africa; the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia; Project Peanut Butter, which supplies ready-to-use therapeutic food to famine-struck regions; and Rotarians Against Malaria (PNG), which distributes treated mosquito netting in Papua New Guinea.
Our Rainbow House
Guilford Rotary Eye Project
Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation
Crutches 4 Africa
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
Project Peanut Butter
Rotarians Against Malaria (PNG)
A couple of years ago Krista Jones from Hopewell Junction, NY, experienced the death of a good friend from cancer and the realization that four other mothers she knew also had cancer. Krista had been helping her friend, who had three children, by leaving food at her door. She recognized that cancer was sapping the energy and budgets of all these mothers, which led her to found Sparrow’s Nest, dedicated to providing two trays of homemade food each week to the suffering families. Although in the beginning Krista used her own money to set up the charitable organization, she now relies on many donors to provide the expense of serving 15 to 18 moms each week and to expand the operation. For now, Krista herself does all the cooking herself, although volunteers help deliver the food.
Center of Compassion volunteers Julie Gregory, Executive Coordinator, and Karen Finnerty, Community Outreach Coordinator, discuss this complex of humanitarian activities that has been located in Dover Plains for the past eleven years. Founded by Sister Maureen of the Westchester’s Sisters of the Divine Compassion, The Center of Compassion runs a food bank, a weekly community lunch, a backpack program of food for school children, emergency meals for the home-bound, and a thrift store at 7 Market Street in Dover Plains. All the meals they provide are homemade by volunteers. The backpack program, one of their newer outreaches, provides about 50 to 80 children identified by the school system as in need with a Friday backpack filled with six well-balanced meals; the children return the empty backpack to the school on Monday. Mostly funded by local donors, The Center of Compassion also operated with a grant from the Regional Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.