The Borgen Project to End World Poverty (Aired on August 30, 2020)

Scott Oatkin, Political Affairs Ambassador for The Borgen Project, visits RadioRotary (via Zoom) to describe the efforts that he and other volunteers are making to encourage the United State Government to do more to help end world poverty. Around the world more than 700 million people live in extreme poverty, and The Borgen Project is dedicated to the proposition that the world’s richest nation should be leading efforts to improve economies. A better world economy would be better for the United States as well. The Borgen Project got started 7 years ago when Clint Borgen was a volunteer in Kosovo and saw first-hand how many people live without enough food or other necessities because of low income. More recently Mr. Oatkin also experienced how really impoverished people live when he was a part of the Rhinebeck Interact’s mission to build a school in rural Nicaragua, which led to his involvement in The Borgen Project. Rhinebeck Interact is a high-school club sponsored by Rhinebeck Rotary. Mr. Oatkin is now a junior political science major at NYU. As a Borgen Project Ambassador, he lobbies government officials to do more about world poverty.

Learn more:
The Borgen Project: https://borgenproject.org/
Interview with Clint Borgen: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/borgen-one-mans-seven-year-project-to-downsize-poverty/
Rhinebeck Interact on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/395583917202375/
Rhinebeck Rotary: https://portal.clubrunner.ca/2252

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September 8, 2020 · Posted in Financial Aid, International Programs, Law, Service Organizations  

Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess (Aired on July 11 and 13, 2020)

RadioRotary interviews (via Zoom) Joe Ryan, the Coordinator for the Medical Reserve Corp of Dutchess County, an organization of 1,004 volunteers currently who provide disaster relief, emergency-medical training, and related services throughout Dutchess County. The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a nationwide organization designed to prepare for and help hand disaster relief, started after the September 11, 2001, attack. The Dutchess Country branch currently has 1,004 volunteers, and also Mr. Ryan has also won the nationally given Mentor Award for its coordination with surrounding county MRCs. The volunteers are almost exactly split between medical personnel and those with no prior medical training. The many preparedness programs offered by Dutchess MRC include classes in stopping bleeding, overdose recovery, suicide prevention, tick safety, and hands-only CPR. During the COVID-19 epidemic, MRC has been part of contact tracing, monitoring victims who are living at home, and providing food or prescription delivery when necessary. Listen to the whole program to learn much more about the services and also about how to volunteer to become a member.

Learn more:
Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County: https://www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/Emergency-Response/Medical-Reserve-Corps-MRC.htm
Medical Reserve Corps: https://mrc.hhs.gov/HomePage
Mentor Award: https://www.dutchessny.gov/County-Government/National-Medical-Reserve-Corps-Bestows-Mentor-Award-on-Dutchess-Countys-Joe-Ryan.htm

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Saving Dogs with a Purpose (Aired March 28 & 29, 2020)

Erich Steffensen, Special Programs Manager at the Animal Farm Foundation in Amenia, NY, is the guest for this RadioRotary Program. The Animal Farm Foundation, although it does run an actual farm with rescue farm animals, is primary concerned with dogs—especially dogs that have been called “pit bulls” because of square-shaped heads and bulky bodies, although these are generally of no recognized breed (originally their ancestors were a cross between bulldogs and terriers, but other breeds have joined the mix over the years). One of the goals of the Foundation is to help erase the bad reputation of pit bulls for aggressive behavior. The other goal is to train shelter dogs—primarily pit bulls—for three different types of service: true service dogs, narcotic-recognizing dogs, and family pets. An early part of this training is conducted by prisoners at Riker’s Island, the “Paws of Purpose” program where the dogs go from shelters to 8 weeks at the prison. Formal training for narcotics-sniffers is conducted at a site in Texas; then the trained dogs are donated to police around the nation. Service dogs, including those who aid the hearing and mobility impaired (but not seeing-eye dogs), are trained at the farm in Amenia. All the programs are free to those who adopt the dogs, whether police who take K-9 dogs, mobility or hearing impaired persons needing help, or families that just want a friendly animal. Listen to the program and learn fascinating details about how trained dogs can solve problems and even save lives.

Learn more
Animal Farm Foundation: https://animalfarmfoundation.org/
Service Dogs: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/service-dog-training-101/
Myths and Facts about Pit Bulls: https://www.petfinder.com/pet-adoption/dog-adoption/myths-and-facts-about-pit-bulls/

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April 13, 2020 · Posted in Animals, Service Organizations  

40 Years of Hudson River Housing (Aired January 18 and 19, 2020)

Back in 1980, Dutchess County Executive Lucille Pattison recognized that there was a
homeless crisis in the county and appointed a Task Force to address the problem, which
resulted in the formation of Hudson River Housing and the first emergency shelter for the
homeless. This vital service has been at the heart of the program as Hudson River Housing
expanded over the years to include transitional housing; affordable apartments and houses;
housing for veterans, for youth, and for seniors; historic preservation; rehabs of existing
structures as well as new construction; employment assistance; and help for first-time home
buyers. In this program, Christa Hines, Executive Director of Hudson River Housing, tells the
story of this amazing agency and the work that it does. With a staff of 160 as well as many
volunteer workers, the Housing Agency has become central to improving Poughkeepsie—and it has extensions to Beacon and to northeastern Dutchess (Amenia, Pine Plains, and Millerton)
where there are considerable needs as well.

Learn more
Hudson River Housing: https://hudsonriverhousing.org/
Family Partnership Center: http://familyservicesny.org/family-partnership-center/
Mental Health America of Dutchess County: https://mhadutchess.org/

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