Every community has its own strengths and needs, offering Rotarians an opportunity for service projects that have positive, lasting benefit for all concerned. This ideal of “community service” is one of Rotary’s basic tenets, giving members pride in ownership as they work together or in partnership with others who have a stake in the outcome.
Columbia-Patuxent Rotary’s community service includes club members investing their time, talent, physical labor and/or financial support for a wide range of local people, places and things working to do good. Here are just a few examples:
- To address food insecurity – we volunteer at the Food Bank, pack lunches for Grassroots and help stock shelves at Howard Community College’s food pantry.
- To support students – we collect/distribute backpacks and schools supplies for Just Living Advocacy, take part in Rotary Reader programs and give dictionaries to elementary school classes.
- For the environment – we help monitor water quality in local streams, supported an elementary school’s pollinator garden, improved the grounds/facilities at Howard County Conservancy, Freetown Farm, Robinson Nature Center, Little Portion Farm and Heritage Housing.
- For personal needs – we support Respite Retreats for cancer patients/caregivers, pack motel boxes and move-in kits for Grassroots, pack home care kits for Homewood Center student/families, speak to Humanim students, support Sleep in Heavenly Peace beds for children, support college/vocational interviews for high school students, maintenance at Therapeutic Recreational Riding Center and help Rebuilding Together home renovations for seniors.
- For other nonprofits – help at the Community Action Council’s summer enrichment end-of-year picnic, at the Heritage Housing picnic and welcome Honor Flight veterans at BWI airport.
For the 2023-2024 Rotary year, our club has been successful in applying for two District 7620 grants for community service projects – one to bring potable water for Freetown Farm and to expand the farm’s irrigation system – and the other to sponsor Hills to Climb, an at-risk students summer camp that teaches leadership, problem-solving, creativity and accountability skills.