On Monday, September 21st, the Rotary Club of South Hall hosted members from the Rotary Club of Gainesville and Hall County to recognize the International Day of Peace and Unity. Club members gathered at Elachee Nature Center after work to hear from Gateway Domestic Violence Center Executive Director Jessica Butler.
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
Although many of us don’t think about the need for peace in our own communities, this year’s organizers recognized that there has been an increased focus on domestic violence in our communities during COVID-19. Local Rotarians wanted to take a moment to hear from Jessica about the changes Gateway has seen over the last few months and the realities of domestic violence in our communities.
Jessica shared with club members the identifying signs and reasons why many victims struggle with getting themselves out of unhealthy situations. She also shared the staggering statistics that they have doubled the number of individuals served this year as opposed to the same time frame last year.
Following the presentation, Rotary discussed the need to continue to promote peace not just globally but locally. Rotarians then kicked off the first Rotary Rocks project in an effort to share peace, unity, and kindness within the community. This project is a spin-off of the Kindness Rocks Project that uses basic rocks to spread simple messages of hope to public spaces within the community.
Over 40 rocks were distributed to local places throughout Hall County on that night and Rotarians continue to spread these rocks with messages of hope.
South Hall Club President Amanda Groover shared that she hoped this was the beginning of an ongoing project for the clubs. “We know that simply spreading positive messages can impact lives that we may never meet and help people in ways we may never know. However, we truly think that it will at least help to put a smile on the recipient’s face.
Learn more about Rotary’s Peace efforts from Rotary International.
The South Hall Rotary Club meets weekly for lunch both in person and via zoom. Please visit our meeting calendar for more information. Anyone who is interested in joining Rotary or seeing what Rotary is all about is welcome to visit on Wednesdays at noon.