A year and a half ago, the Rotary Club of Parksville, having lost all its fundraising activities due to the pandemic, began holding weekly bottle drives at Speedy Glass in Parksville.
Rotarian Tim Andres generously donated the use of his property for these drives, and Rotarians began taking and sorting recycling every Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm.
Funds raised were donated to local and international initiatives, including the “Words On Wheels” (WOW) Bus, School District 69 Backpack Program (Weekends Without Hunger), and construction projects in Mexico.
A little over a month ago, the world changed and, beginning March 19, the Club began a recycling campaign in support of humanitarian aid in Ukraine. A challenge went out for each Parksville resident to donate $1 or 10 bottles/cans which, based on the current census figures, will translate to a total of $13,642.
Rotary was supported in this effort by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Parksville. The photo at left shows a volunteer from the Church pinning a blue and gold ribbon on one of the many donors who came to show their support.
Response from the public has been overwhelming and to date, the intake of recycling is exceeding even the busiest summer holiday weekends. Between recycling revenue and cash donations, 40% of the target was reached in the first two weeks.
As District 5020 will match all donations made to the Rotary Disaster Response/Relief Fund to a maximum of $25,000, the Club’s initial donation will be made to this Fund, so that it can be doubled for maximum impact. These funds will then be made available to clubs in the region to provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainians. The balance of the amount raised will go to the Canadian Red Cross.
This past Saturday, after four hours of steady sorting by a dedicated crew of Rotarians and supporters, the pile of recycling seemed to be barely touched. Rotarians are heartened by this outpouring of support and delighted by the generosity of the residents of Parksville and area. The effort continues every Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm at Speedy Glass in Parksville.