Community Meets Pandemic Challenges (Aired on October 11, 2020)

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck Red Hook, NY, Dan Budd, a local businessman with ties to the youth community and a high-school student, Chris Donahue, decided that they could organize volunteers to solve some of the immediate problems the community faces. RadioRotary on this program interviews Red Hook Responds cofounder Dan Budd, owner of Taste Budd’s Café in Red Hook Village, about how Red Hook Responds works and about the related venture, Shop Red Hook. Aside for medical needs, the two main problems Red Hook residents faced with the stay-in-place rules of the State response to the pandemic have been delivery of essential items and the loss of human interactions. The nearly 500 volunteers of Red Hook Responds, many of them students, deliver groceries or medicines and also provide neighborly chats over the telephone; but the most important service has been production of and delivery of more than 8,000 prepared dinners (so far). School-district supplied breakfasts and lunches are also delivered to those who need them. Shop Red Hook is another service—an online conduit between farms and food banks.

Learn more:
Red Hook Responds: https://www.redhookresponds.org/
Shop Red Hook Food Exchange: https://shopredhook.com/
Taste Budd’s Café: https://www.tastebudds.com/
Town of Red Hook, NY: https://www.tastebudds.com/

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October 20, 2020 · Posted in Humanitarian Service, Nutrition, Support Groups, Volunteers, Youth  

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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Literacy Connection Holds Spelling Bee (Aired February 29 and March 1, 2020)

RadioRotary interviews Literacy Connections Coordinator for Southern and Rural Dutchess County Marian Thompson and Book Bodies Coordinator Katherine Stikkers about the annual Spelling Bee. For 29 years the organization has raised money from sponsors of two-person teams who compete for the glory of best spellers. The money is used to help Literacy Connections in its principal effort, which is to teach adults how to read, as well as in its other efforts such as the Book Buddies program—adults reading to elementary-school students. The reading program uses a state approved tutoring program with trained volunteer to help adults gain reading skills and to tutor immigrants who have poor or no English. Although the program works all year long, the highlight of the year comes with the Spelling Bee, which in recent years has been at Marist College. Most teams are sponsored, often by Rotary Clubs, and can consist of high-school students or adults, but any two-person team can enter. The words are chosen from a dictionary and vary in difficulty. After a first round for points, the high-scorers compete until every team but one has been eliminated by misspelling a word (second chances are available). An audience is present just to enjoy the competition.

Learn more
Literary Connections of the Hudson Valley: http://www.literacyconnections.org/
29th Annual Spelling Bee: http://www.literacyconnections.org/spelling-bee/
National Spelling Bee: http://spellingbee.com/
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: https://www.mtishows.com/the-25th-annual-putnam-county-spelling-bee

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March 17, 2020 · Posted in Arts & Letters, Education, Events, Literacy, Volunteers  

Rebuilding Together Rehabilitates Homes (Aired January 11 and 12, 2020)

RadioRotary interviews Poughkeepsie South Rotary president Christina Boryk, executive
director of Rebuilding Together Dutchess County. Rebuilding Together is the nonprofit
organization (once known as “Christmas in July”) that for the past 27 years has repaired,
revitalized, and rehabilitated homes for homeowners who because of age or disability or poverty
are unable to make the necessary repairs that would make the dwelling safe and healthy. The
service is free to the homeowner. The volunteer workers install grab bars, ramps, and smoke
and carbon-dioxide alarms, and make other modifications as well as undertake minor repairs.
Larger-scale projects are handled by outside contractors. They have repaired more than 800
homes since the program started. The program is funded by state and local grants, by local
corporations such as Central Hudson, and donations.

Learn more
Rebuilding Together Dutchess County: http://www.rebuildingtogetherdutchess.org/
Rebuilding Together Dutchess on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RTDutchess/
Office for the Aging, Dutchess County: https://www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/Aging/Office-for-the-Aging.htm
National Center for Healthy Housing: https://nchh.org/build-the-movement/nshhc/
Poughkeepsie South Rotary Club: https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50045/clubinfo/poughkeepsie-south

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