Haiti Feed the Children Project
The Rotary Club of Homewood began helping the people of Haiti in 2005. The Club joined forces with Rotary District 6450 and District 5950 to dig 30 water wells in the Central Plateau to bring clean drinking water to over 30,000 people.
In 2008 the Club started to concentrate its efforts in Jacmel, Haiti. The Club is currently raising funds to provide clean water to Jacmel. The Club also began working with Haitian Support Ministries to feed the homeless children of Jacmel. After the earthquake of January, 2010, the Club stepped up to raise funds to provide relief to the people of Jacmel. The relief effort included food, water, and medical teams to help the injured.
Glenwood Academy Christmas Party
Over 20 years ago the Rotary Club of Homewood and Aruelio's Pizza in Homewood began the tradition of a Christmas/Holiday Party for every child at the Glenwood Academy. All of the Students are treated to a pizza party while singing holiday songs. Each student receives a gift to celebrate the holiday.
Thanksgiving Food Baskets
Rotary Club of Homewood has been providing Thanksgiving baskets to needy families in the Homewood, Flossmoor and Glenwood communities for many years. We join up and work with Suburban Access to provide many baskets with all the trimmings for a complete dinner. Generous donations are made by Walt's Food Stores and members of our Club. This year Suburban Access plans to distribute over 1,000 grocery bags full of Thanksgiving dinners.
We respond instantly following natural and other disasters by delivering boxes of aid to those who need it most.
Each ShelterBox supplies an extended family with a tent and essential equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. We are now firmly established at the forefront of disaster relief and our work constantly earns the respect of outside agencies.
Sun Oven Project
Since 1986, Rotarians have supported SUN OVEN®projects on five continents, saving countless trees and improving the lives of thousands of people. Rotary still remains an active participant in numerous projects around the world. Please visit the TSP web site at www.rotarysolarovens.org
Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for nearly 90 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals.
Haiti H2O Project
In May of 2008 representatives, from several Rotary Clubs located across two different Rotary districts in Minnesota, together with representatives from Haiti Outreach, met to discuss how they might be able to combine their energy, talents and resources to most effectively collaborate and make a big difference in the lives of the people in the Central Plateau region of Haiti.
Haiti is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in not only the Western Hemisphere, but also in the whole world. Rotary has already embarked on significant projects in Haiti to bring safe water, healthcare, education and other vitally needed resources to benefit the people that live there. In partnership with organizations such as Haiti Outreach on safe water projects alone, real change has already taken place. In the words of one elderly Haitian woman, ‘since the well has come, the children
have stopped dying’.
Realizing that a great deal more can and needs to be done, and wishing to have a more profound and ‘game-changing’ impact in assisting the people of Haiti to move from a ‘hand-out’ to a ‘hand-up’, these Rotary clubs have established ‘Rotary Partnership for Haiti’. The member clubs believe that there is a significant multiplying effect and benefit than can be derived by combining the resources of several clubs to take on larger projects that these clubs would not be able to otherwise address individually. This partnership has initially been formed by the Brainerd, Hutchinson and Minneapolis-City of Lakes Rotary clubs, and additional clubs and resources are already being added. Each of these clubs has considerable previous experience working on international projects both inside and outside of Haiti. However, it’s not expected or envisioned that this venture evolve into something much larger than a handful or two of clubs in order to preserve agility and speed.
After consultation between representatives of these Rotary Clubs and representatives from Haiti Outreach, the initial focus of the consortium efforts will be to fund and construct a secondary school in the community of La Victoire in the central plateau region of Haiti. Haiti Outreach is non-profit organization committed to the development of Haiti, already well established and experienced in this region with a permanent staff of 18 people and country manager on site. They have constructed safe water wells throughout many local communities for over 10 years, as well as two public schools in the Pignon area, only 8 miles from La Victoire. In their relationship with local community leaders, they have a solid understanding of the needs in the area. They also know what it takes to get work accomplished in the country, as well as how to work with local and national government officials. Haiti Outreach is based in Minnesota and in managed by a Rotarian.
Illiteracy is a major problem in Haiti – only about half of the population can even read and write. In addition, there are only enough PUBLIC secondary schools for 2% of the students to attend. With the addition of private schools, there still are only enough secondary schools for 18% of the students that age in the whole country. The Central Plateau region of Haiti has a population of over 500,000 people. In this region of approximately 3,000 square miles, there are only three public secondary schools. Given the high poverty level of the area, most students cannot afford to attend the few private secondary schools. Unless there are public secondary schools to attend that their families can afford, they simply are not able to further their education and have to stop at the 6th grade level.
In an effort to move beyond safe water and into a sustainable means to develop an educated population so that future generations can make further progress, educating the youth of even the most remote regions of the country is critical. The La Victoire area has a population of about 10,000 people with no public secondary school. Work is already underway in this same community on a safe water system, and so education is the logical next step to advance the community.
Haiti Outreach has already established agreements with the Haitian Ministry of Education and the member of Congress who represents this region to fully staff and support the school once it is constructed. But the national government has no money to construct public secondary schools. The mayor’s office and other local government officials are eager for a public school to be built, and there is community land available for the construction of a school.
It is expected that the total cost of the project, as managed by the US and Haitian based staff of Haiti Outreach, will be approximately $200,000 (USD), with completion targeted for September 1st, 2009. Because Rotary International (RI) Matching Grant funds are not eligible to be used for building projects, there is no expectation that funds from RI can be provided. However, other corporate, foundation, nonprofit and individual sources for funding may also be available. The consortium members are in the process of working with their own clubs and others to assess both their willingness and ability to assist in this project.
The school year in Haiti starts in September. Working backwards from then, it’s expected that the construction and outfitting of the school will take five to six months. Therefore, in order for the school to be complete by September of 2010, all of the plans, approvals, and funds need to be in place by January 2010. That is our goal.
Polio Eradication Project
Rotary Club of Homewood supports Rotary International in their Worldwide efforts to eradicate Polio. We are down to only two countries that still have pockets of Polio disease. Rotary International is committed to the full eradication of this dreaded disease.
Early Act Clubs
Our Club sponsors Early Act Clubs in three of our local schools. This provides the middle school students with a weekly meeting so they can learn that doing good for the community is a way of life, and good way to make life better right here at home.
Every year we distribute brand new dictionaries to all of the third graders in the schools of Homewood, Glenwood, and Flossmoor. We have been doing this so long that now some college students tell us they still have their first dictionary they received from the Homewood Rotary Club. This is a fabulous resource that includes all the countries in the world, all the presidents in the USA, all the planets, the Declaration of independence, maps of all seven continents, weights and measures and much more.
Sierra Leone Medical Clinic
Sierra Leone is a project we support with our member Dr. Sam Kormoi. He is working to build a medical facility in his home land. A community in which before his efforts all must travel over 25 miles to the nearest medical facility. On very bad roads it could take up to 3 hours to make this trip on the back of a motorcycle. Now his home village has clean water at the clinic year round and a laboratory to provide medical evaluations in a much quicker format. This medical clinic is saving lives now, and plans are to make it even better.