Nonprofit Spotlight: How do we keep our community thriving during a time of catastrophes? (sponsored)

Plumas Bank sponsors this content

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One way is to stay connected—but how? One approach: think globally, act locally!

Rotary is an organization where neighbors, friends, and problem solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change. As a network, Rotary connects people — 1.2 million members across the globe and more than 120 different countries working together to improve lives.

There are eight unique Rotary clubs in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area — and they meet on different days and at different times. Each club has a different “personality” and focuses on a different mix of community and international service, youth programs and exchanges, leadership development, and fellowship activities. Rotarians are People of Action with hearts of service.

Rotary’s pivotal role in the ongoing fight to eradicate polio has naturally led to global assistance to counter COVID. This includes helping health authorities communicate lifesaving information about the virus and donating protective gear and other supplies to clinics and hospitals under strain because of the pandemic. Locally, clubs donated masks and protective gear to non-profits, and members provided food to first responders.

Our eight area clubs have also provided additional local assistance during the pandemic. Several partnered with the school district and other nonprofits to provide laptop computers to students so that they could continue their education using distance learning. Needed workstations for teachers were purchased so classes could be held via Zoom.

The Rotary Club of Reno donated $55,000 for the new Eddy House kitchen so food could be available for their clients, with other clubs joining in. This partnership resulted in nearly $100,000 for local non-profits, including the above plus gift cards for restaurants, a clothes closet, sock drive and other supplies.

This is not the only support that Rotary provides to our local youth. Every year clubs collaborate — with money AND volunteers — for programs including Rotary 8th grade Leadership (REGL), week-long Rotary Youth Leadership camps for high school juniors (RYLA), Speech and Music contests and awards, and other scholarships offered by individual clubs.

Four of the local Rotary Clubs — Reno, Reno Central, Reno South and Sparks — formed a targeted nonprofit scholarship program — Achievement Beyond Obstacles (ABO). Counselors nominate students who have overcome major challenges to graduate high school and continue their education. This current academic year, ABO awarded $47,000 in scholarship funds to 26 undergraduate students along with one graduate student, one student attending Law school, and two students pursuing PhD doctoral programs.

The Truckee Meadows is a great place to live, and Rotary clubs contribute to the health of the community as a whole. Efforts include multiple park projects. Reno Rotary contributed and continues to contribute to the BiCentennial Sculpture Park and Riverside gardens. Reno South built and donated Robin Hood Park to the City of Reno and continues with maintenance efforts.

The Reno Midtown club plants flowers and maintains the medians in the Midtown area, and developed a school garden at Vaughn Middle School. Reno Central partners with Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful at the Virginia Lake Park. In addition to the parks, there are many other local initiatives. Reno Sunrise works closely with the Boy Scouts. Reno Centennial Sunset works with Bailey Charter School and the Northern Nevada Food Bank.

Sparks Centennial Sunrise has an annual 4th grade calculator project and collaborates with Partners in Education. Sparks Rotary holds an annual Kids and Special Needs Fishing Day and the Dictionary Project for all 3rd grade students in the Washoe County School District. And this is only a partial list of all the community support the Rotary clubs of Reno-Sparks provide.

Plus, Rotary Means Business is a bimonthly opportunity for members and guests to meet at a local Rotary-owned business.

Behind the “what” Rotarians accomplish is the “why.” In an increasingly complex world, Rotary maintains a simple philosophy — make friends in your own community and throughout the world. Giving back to the community results in friendships, fun and entertainment, continued learning and personal development, travel opportunities and business development and networking.

Regular meetings promote connections, and these continued throughout the pandemic shutdown, most using Zoom, and now back to in person and “hybrid” meetings. Adapting to rapidly changing situations is the new norm, but there is always room for friendship, whether in Rotary or another organization.

Finally, Rotarians contribute to the community by promoting and upholding ethical relationships. At the core is our 4-way Test:

  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Join us in serving our community together.

This article was provided on behalf of the eight Rotary clubs that serve the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area. Plumas Bank sponsors this content. 


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