Finding the Spirit of Service

Finding the Spirit of Service During the Holidays

South Hall Rotary Shines During the Holidays

The month of December is usually filled with Christmas parties, visits from Jolly Old Saint Nick, and weekends filled with service across the South Hall Community. However, 2020 proved to be a difficult season for us to spread Christmas cheer with an increase in COVID positive cases in our community and seasonal events canceled throughout. 

The difficulty in the limited opportunities was the increased need to serve families in our community this year.  So, our club continued to do the things we were capable of doing and took a different perspective on things we had to reinvent to be of services to families.

Secret Santa Shopping

Several Rotarians showed up early on a Saturday morning to assist in the Secret Santa Shopping supported by the Oakwood Secret Santa Car Show.  The shopping list each helped buy gifts for kids primarily from Oakwood Elementary School whose families were seeking financial assistance during the holidays.  The number of families helped this year was larger than year’s past due to economic hardships caused by the current pandemic. 

Participants got the opportunity to spend a few hours taking a shopping list and basically buy an entire kid’s wish and needs list with someone else’s money!  It is always a fun time.   For more information, or to support this organization you can check them out at Secret Santa Car Show.

Ring the Bell

The month started with the club’s usual support of the Salvation Army’s Bell Ringing at Sam’s Club in Oakwood.  Over the course of the Saturday, numerous Rotarian’s donated an hour of their time to ring the bell to collect funds for the Salvation Army’s annual campaign.

“There is always a joy in seeing how many people are willing to give a dollar or pocket change to the red bucket.  It’s especially cute when a child gets excited to drop money and their eyes light up with anticipation,” stated President Amanda Groover.

Chicopee Elementary Christmas Initiative

Usually, the club participates in a Christmas party that benefits local low-income families in South Hall, but because of COVID this year’s event was canceled. So, the club contacted school contact Tina Hayes and found an alternative way to support the cause.  The school had decided in lieu of the party that they would be providing meals for families and every student would get a $10 gift from Santa. 

South Hall Rotary found that this was a perfect way to utilize a special Rotary District 6910 matching grant to help with food insecurity in our communities.  The club utilized the funds to donate $1,000 toward the cost of the 150 food boxes for the students and their families.  Each box fed a family of five, three meals each for three days. 

Our club missed the opportunity to participate in the spirit of serving during the holidays this year but were grateful for the opportunity to be able raise funds to financially support these causes. For more information about any of these organizations or to be considered for next year’s charitable giving initiatives please reach out to us at