As we move deeper into December, holiday activities gear up. Our community twinkles with lights and little ones become fascinated with the traditions of the man in red. Santa has captivated children for centuries. The idea that one man dedicates himself to spreading joy with toys is eternal.
Members of the Tualatin Rotary are busy spreading joy and opportunity in December and every month of the year. All third-grade students in the city will be given a brand new dictionary this month. The dictionary is a rite of learning passage for students. Rotary awards the lexicons as acknowledgement that students gave become readers and are moving forward in their educational pursuits. Rotary members personally visit each school to present the books to each child. Over 500 books are delivered each year. The world of words is a gift that all learners need.
You might hear Rotarians making music this month. Every year members participate as Salvation Army bell ringers at Fred Meyer. With a flick of a wrist and a happy smile, they raise funds for community members. Partnering with another non-profit organization is a win-win for all!
Many families in our city have difficulty providing holiday joy. Rotary members adopt two families and purchase many items that add smiles to the season. Each family receives a full holiday dinner, toys, clothes, shoes, household items and other needed supplies. Like Santa, Rotary makes deliveries. Happiness and hugs are shared as holiday gifts find a new home.
Fellowship is a part of the Rotarian code. In December, the Tualatin High School Crimsonnaires perform at the club’s holiday luncheon. As a thank you, Rotary donates funds to the choir group to support their efforts to entertain members of our community.
Unlike Santa, Rotary never rests. Every month of the year provides opportunity for members to support this city. Soon, a new Tualatin High School scholar will be selected. This first-generation college-bound student will join Rotary’s seven other scholars and work towards graduation and a future career. A Rotary member will mentor the student for five years and provide valuable assistance for navigating the academic world.
Members will also add their muscle to three projects this Spring. There will be a cleanup crew along Tualatin Sherwood Road, a select group will help provide landscape work at the Bird Refuge along highway 99, and several members will roll up their sleeves to rebuild a home for a local resident. Some Rotary service is truly physical in nature. Helping others does require full-body commitment.
Some residents will feel the work of The Rotary Club as they access the Dental Van. Quality dental services are provided twice a month at the Tualatin Food Pantry as an outreach of Rotary Fundraising. Relieving dental pain is a gift. Happy smiles are always the result of this project.
Other Residents might taste the joy of Rotary. Four times a year, Rotarians cook and serve dinners at Family Promise. Each evening is filled with good food, conversation and fun. The families are on a path to finding their own homes and Rotary helps with support and fellowship.
Exchange students are a big part of Rotary. Each year the club supports an incoming student from another country and sends a Tualatin student on a ten-month stay somewhere around the world. Each young learner brings a wealth of knowledge to their schools and helps make our world better through common understanding. Rotary exchange students often become adult leaders who are versed in peacemaking and decisive planning.
Rotary is fighting to defeat Polio. The Tualatin Club along with clubs from around the world are immunizing children to prevent the spread of this crippling disease. There were only 18 cases in 3 countries worldwide this year. We are so close to eradicating this illness from the face of the earth. Hundreds of thousand if children have been saved from the effects of this disease.
Soon, there will be Hazelbrook Middle School students traveling the world without leaving their classrooms. Thanks to the Rotary Club Members, Sarah Morris will be purchasing virtual reality materials for her students. They will truly become immersed in their learning. She is using her Rotary grant funds to further the experiences of her students.
Your Tualatin Rotary Club is a small group of fifty members who have committed themselves to serve this community all year, every year. They are always looking for new members who have the giving spirit. You could become a year-long Santa in a Rotary club. Service above self is a “jolly” way to live!
For more information on the Tualatin Rotary, visit www.tualatinrotary.org.