Prep Parties for People of Action

A solution ‘hit me in the face’ when I attended the Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia in 2014… 

Prep Parties for People of Action

Over the last 15 years I have done a great deal of travel while volunteering on Rotarian humanitarian projects.  In these travels it came to my attention that girls and women have no access/affordable access to menstrual supplies.  Once girls start menstruating they usually miss approx. 5 days of school per month.  Soon they fall behind, drop out of school and the cycle of poverty continues.  If women cannot manage their periods they are unable to fully participate in their local economy.  While knowing this was a problem I did not do any research to find a solution.

A solution ‘hit me in the face’ when I attended the Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia in 2014.  Days for Girls had a significant presence in the House of Friendship advocating for Menstrual Hygiene Management and promoting the making of washable, reusable menstrual supplies and offering lessons.   I was inspired!

In the fall of 2014 I mobilized a few friends to make some Kits so I can start raising awareness and funds.

Soon the Saskatoon South Days for Girls Chapter was started and a couple of Rotary Clubs provided initial funding.  As women in Saskatoon and are learned of the need and about DfG they became inspired and have become hard working volunteers.  From a handful of volunteers we have grown to approx. 50 women who attend “Prep Parties’, twice monthly to make the various components of a kit.

Since inception we have made and had approx. 3,000 Kits distributed, by mid-May we will have another 1,000 ready to go.  Our Kits have gone to girls in Ethiopia, Uganda, Cambodia, Peru, Honduras, Nepal and Kenya to name a few.  Over 3000 girls receive information on Menstrual Hygiene Management and have received a Kit enabling them to continue school.  Distributions of Kits empower the girls while advocating for Menstrual Hygiene Management, creating awareness and demand and provide opportunity for the development of small local enterprises.

Being inspired in Sydney has changed my life on a personal basis, has provided for Saskatoon women to socialize while addressing the need and has changed the lives of thousands of girls.  It just took action.

Brenda Banbury

The Rotary Club of Saskatoon

 

 
The Senior Wish Program

From a television show by the same name, we began a “Senior Wish” program…

The Senior Wish Program

My Rotary Inspiration came from a project we did in my second year as a Rotarian.

From a television show by the same name, we began a “Senior Wish” program.

Anyone could make a wish as long as the recipient was a senior citizen over sixty-five.

We advertised in all the local media.

Surprising to us, we only received three wishes over the next month.

One was out of reach for us as the costs were prohibitive and the goal unrealistic.

The second was to have a birthday party bringing a special relative to a remote community. We got working on that with volunteers and in-kind donations. It would have happened, however, the recipient passed away before his birthday.

Number three was for a lady living in a senior complex. Her niece told us about problems with hearing the TV, doorbell, and phone. (The TV was so loud that she couldn’t hear anything else). When we did the first interview, we saw some of the problems, the TV was old and almost unwatchable.

We were able to get donations and good prices. We took a technician, a flat screen TV, a headset, phone, and a special doorbell to her suite.

The tech helped us install everything. When we were done—the TV was clear, the headphones had separate volume control, the phone flashed brightly when it rang, and the phone flashed when the doorbell rang!!

What an experience; there were lots of tears and an extreme sense of accomplishment. This is why I was a Rotarian. And can proudly say that I am now a PDG.

Rick Hubbs

The Rotary Club of The Pas

 

The Hungry Tab Collection

Kindness can start with the tiniest of things. Like a pop tab, for instance…

The Hungry Tab Collection

What inspires me? Simple acts of kindness.

It can start with the tiniest of things. Like a pop tab, for instance.

Members of our club collect pop tabs. These tabs have a tiny dollar value but when enough of them are collected, their value eventually adds up to the thousands of dollars required to buy wheelchairs for kids requiring enhanced mobility.

This seemed like an easy thing to do at home, but we thought, why can’t we collect more than what our club can contribute?

Starting last August Martin and I began a little community collection by setting out a small container at the end of our walk. Through our neighbourhood’s private Facebook community page we put out a call for tabs, explaining its purpose. To capture further interest, we’ve had some fun with it! We named it “Tabby”, made it a little red scarf for the winter and claim he needs filling due to his appetite for tabs. We post a thank you every time we see Tabby is full. Then we submit the tabs to Nancy Hansen, our club’s tab program organizer.

We have been rewarded with many generous neighbours dropping off their tabs in ziplock bags. We’ve even had a lady mention to us that she seeks out little tab treasures on her daily walks to drop them into Tabby as she passes by.

Although this is not a huge ask of people, it is still an extra step in their day, with nothing in it for the kindness givers.  They simply feel it is the right thing to do, something that allows them to act toward the greater good.

There is good in the world and this inspires me to take heart, even when the news seems to be reporting only the opposite.  That my neighbours, my Rotary Club and I can be the good in this world too, one tab at a time!

Eira Braun-Labossiere

The Rotary Club of Winnipeg-Charleswood