The holiday spirit starts earlier every year, which certainly helps for planning how Rotary clubs can give back locally. It is also a notable time to take Shekar Mehta’s message, Serve to Change Lives, and follow it with action.
This year our president Janice Krall, got us talking early and often about the needs of our community and where we wanted to make an impact. The Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club wrote messages of hope, cheer, & connection in Christmas cards given to Nanaimo Family Life Society and Origin Longwood Retirement Home. The cards were given to seniors who access programs or reside in their facilities. Also, each year Volunteer Nanaimo looks for Angel Network Christmas Angels, and the Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club joined the angel brigade and adopted two families of 5.
Then we heard that the Island Crisis Care Society requested donations for their Christmas Care Kits, and the club stepped up again. Donations came in, and wish lists were filled along with $500 gift cards for each family to spend at Superstore. Things like hygiene items, winter comfort items, and other mini gifts were donated to be packed into backpacks and reusable bags for their program clients and residents.
A club member heard about a Nanaimo family who had come into tough times before the holidays, and the club rallied to find $500 to help. And lastly, the club donated homemade quilts, stuffed animals, and housewares to the Haven Society helping women escape abusive relationships.