The South Hall Rotary Club did something a little different this summer. They spent their summer focused on service projects rather than vacation weeks. The club – who usually meets at Lanier College and Career Academy – spent several weeks this summer meeting at parks, local non-profits, and at various community businesses to make an impact on their community.
Club President Rena Pendley stated, “We wanted to spend some time this summer really get our club out into the community so they could see us a work and making a local impact. Our club may be small but we knew we could still make a large impact when we work together.”
Check out the six ways we contributed to our community:
Straight Street Pizza Party & Empty Bowl Lunch
South Hall Rotary members started the new club calendar year by supporting a pizza party for Straight Street Ministries Summer Camp and conducting a bowl painting party to support the Georgia Mountain Food Bank’s Empty Bowl Lunch. Several of the students who participated in this year’s summer camp are beneficiaries of the ministries Backpack Love Program that uses the connection with the Food Pantry to sends home food in backpacks for these food-insecure students and family over the weekend during the school year. The students were able to paint bowls, learn why they were painting them and how they were helping.
City of Oakwood Park Project
The club’s second project involved forgoing a usual lunchtime meeting to meet up at the City of Oakwood Park. Instead of a usual speaker presentation, we broke out our Rotary T-shirts and help spread new sand and pick up trash across the playground. Some members pulled weeds while others spread the sand through the hour to help make sure the playground looked good for the upcoming fall.
Awesome 80s 5K and Food Drive
The club put a different twist on this year’s Awesome 80’s 5K by incorporating a food drive into the signature fundraiser. Runner’s were asked to bring in can goods for a chance to win a door prize for the event. In a year that brought in a record number of runners and record heat, the club also managed to collect 206 lbs of food for the 10 Million Meals Campaign. In addition, over $9,000 was raised to contribute to local charities including our partnership with the UNG Food Pantry.
First Responder’s Appreciation Day
During Patriot’s Day on September 11, members of the club left our meeting to go out into the community and present cookie cakes to 6 fire departments and 3 different police departments scattered throughout South Hall County. Each cookie cake thanked the first responders for their service to our community. It was a small way to thank the men and women who put their lives on the line for each of us.
Lake Lanier Associations 2019 Shore Sweep
Several Rotarians and their family members teamed up with 41 high school students made up of multiple high school interact clubs to participate in the Lake Lanier Association’s annual Shore Sweep. Over 3 tons of trash was picked up by 20 different organizations around the lake. Members of the South Hall Rotary teamed worked together on three boats to collect trash around the Aqualand Marina area and then ended the day with a celebratory lunch at Pig Tails.
Beautiful Feet Home Beautification
The club also made some financial contributions to efforts by Beautiful Feet Ministries New Home Project. The club provided funds for the ministry to buy plants for the local Gainesville Police Explorers to install landscaping to their new home for women rehabilitating from leaving the sex trafficking industry. The team at Beautiful Feet wanted to improve the inviting experience before the grand opening in August.
“We know the impact that teaming up with others can make,” stated President-Elect Amanda Groover. “That is why our club has looked at ways to team up with other organizations and events to create a bigger impact in the community.”
Since July 1st the club has contributed 627 service hours, donated $3,000 of in-kind donations, and raised more than $12,000 in funds to help further Rotary’s Mission of Service Above Self.