Rotary Expands Its Community Outreach

One of Rotary’s principal principles is that club members expand their reach beyond the walls of their weekly meeting space.  We recognize that Rotary grows in membership and in service by making connections with other organizations that are part of the local “larger world” outside.


Since its founding more than 35 years ago, Columbia-Patuxent Rotary has put this principle into practice.  Guest speakers at our meetings help us to better know and understand potential partners in action.  Volunteering and sometimes financially supporting worthy programs and initiatives allows us to meet real needs in the community.  

Some familiar names may be found in the ranks of our partners in progress. The Community Action Council of Howard County is one example.  We’ve backed its mission in helping people and changing lives by working at the Food Bank, assembling Thanksgiving boxes, packing bags for Afghan families, helping with the Summer Enrichment Program’s end of year picnic for students and families, plus providing Rotary Readers for Read Across America Day at early childhood centers.  We also assisted in a diaper drive and answered a tornado emergency request.

Another example is our involvement with Grassroots Crisis Intervention.  Weve packed and delivered lunches for Grassroots after each Friday club meeting during designated months.  We donated supplies for motel boxes and housewarming move-in kits for Grassroots families.  We cooked and served meals at the Grassroots shelter and even conducted a bingo games night.

Our volunteers have stocked shelves as part of the Feeding Dragons program at Howard Community College’s food pantry.  The club sponsored a series of social services lectures at the college in addition to backing the school’s entrepreneurship students as they annually vie for prizes while presenting their “rocket pitch” ideas for new businesses.

We’ve supported Just Living Advocacy families with collection of school supplies and backpack distribution as the school year begins.  At the Community Ecology Institute’s Freetown Farm our tasks included clearing brush, tree removal, debris cleanup, and erecting a Quonset hut cover complete with electrical service.  Other physical labor took place at Robinson Nature Center (tree planting and fencing) and in conjunction with Rebuilding Together Howard County’s annual efforts to undertake free home repairs and modifications for neighbors in need.

While Rotary began as a way for business people to network with each other, today’s Rotarians are service-oriented and outcome-driven to expand beyond our traditional way of partnering.  We are embracing our members’ talents and skills to engage with other individuals to get work done and implement change for a better community.

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