|THE ROTARY CLUB OF THE VILLAGES - EVENING||
Langley Health Services & Dental benefits to low income veterans.
Our club was a contributor to the purchase of the Langley Health Services DENTAL Bus in 2015-16. In 2018 members of the club learned our veterans do not have any dental benefit. We met with Langley and other funders to see if a sustainable program Smiles for Veterans funding could be developed that would provide basic dental services to a low income veteran for $5. The service area is SUMTER, MARION AND CITRUS COUNTIES. The results grow each year and show the power of Rotarians using their networking potential to impact the community.
In the Fall of 2020 a pilot project of providing dentures to 3 low income veterans in the Smiles for Veterans Program. The pilot program showed an immediate need for more funding of dentures. The Smiles for Veterans fund pays 50% and the veteran commits to a payment plan for 50%. Currently the fund is being built to handle 1 case per month.
St. Theresa's Social Services
The Corona Virus Pandemic caused our club to join with other area Rotary clubs to meet the need of families for food. We found St Theresa's Social Services/Food Pantry served Summerfield FL (and Belleview FL) where the families of our Harbour View Elementary School live. Our club decided to support food drives for this pantry. The Rotary Food Drives willl be a collaborative effort every 3 months until the pandemic is over. Director Jack Nettis arrived at the second one with their panel truck. This gave us 4 hours of getting to know what this organization does and the type of needs they try to meet. The Service Project Committee voted to fund an Impact Fund for St Theresas. The intention of this fund is to offer flexibility and solutions that otherwise could not be offered to a family for lack of funds or restriction of funds.
Harbour View Elementary School needed to find ways to positively impact education of their minority students. Our club facilitated introduction to the Sophisticated Gents, a service club that has many members with a depth of education leadership prior to retiring to Central Florida.
Our club continues to explore collaborations in the Latino community of Central Florida.
Advent Hospital Foundation & International Projects
Rotary International, Inc encourages each club to reach out and meet a need in another country. This is a difficult challenge unless you have a partner like Advent Hospital Foundation Important to the success of an international service project is working with the local people and having boots on the ground at the site of the project. This collaboration makes it possible for our club to serve internationally. We have helped bring safe water to a hospital in Haiti through this collaboration. Sometimes this collaboration includes other Rotary Clubs in our district. Recently we collaborated on a District 6980 Pandemic Response grant for specialized equipment at Advent Health Hospital in Orlando FL.
In Spring 2020 our club joined 7 other Rotary clubs to do a food drive at different locations on the same day. This was in response to increased unemployment and Covid 19 related causes. It was very successful.
On July 18 a second collaboration grew the the number of clubs involved to 8 Rotary clubs.
In each case collaborating on the use of media increased the impact. Our club supported two pantries in Summerfield FL because they serve the families of Harbour View Elementary School.
Oct 17 was the third Rotary Food Drive. This time we located in Spanish Springs at Village Car Wash The location gave good visibility and easy access to shoppers of two different grocery stores.
Jan 9 is the next Rotary Food Drive. We will use the same location.
Art in Paradise Club
The We presented the need for restoring or updating Harbour View Elementary's 25 yr old mural to ART IN PARADISE, an art club that meets weekly in The Villages. They created a wonderful dynamic mural and presented it to the school. Art in Paradise is exploring others ways to enhance the art program at HVES.
Tutors for Kids
Tutors for Kids is a volunteer organization that trains and places tutors in schools around The Villages area. HVES is one of those schools. Two of our members have become liaisons with Tutors for Kids and that has prompted several of our members and also their friends to volunteer to tutor 1 or more students........many more are needed. However, in the current Covid-19 situation, we will be working with the school administration and our members to tutor via the internet. ZOOM and other platforms are becoming very common at all ages and this may be a benefit....stay tuned.
Florida Dept of Health in Marion
\In developing countries, Community Development is an activity that often has involvement from Rotarians but with the end goal that the community members learn to organize and tackle their needs. The poverty level in the area that students of Harbour View Elementary live is high. The needs are wide ranging and their is no organized voice....YET. Members of our club have been helping Florida Dept. of Health in Marion County assess the need as voiced by the residents. FDHM has already completed one survey and is working toward focus groups. Our club is in the second year of a three year commitment to assist in ways that are appropriate. This collaboration could positively impact the families and students of HVES is a group voice develops and begins advocating for solutions.
This project has been placed on hold due to the pandemic