National and International Service
Rotary International has been working to eradicate polio for more than 30 years.
Eradication is closer than ever – and we will not be denied.
As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary International has worked to reduce Polio cases by 99.9 percent since the first project to vaccinate
children in the Philippines in 1979. Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2.5
billion children in 122 countries and has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward
eradicating the disease worldwide.
Today, Polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, Polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.
Hurricane Relief and other Disasters
For 30 years, the Ardmore Rotary Club has provided assistance to people affected by
some of the worst natural disasters in this country. Beginning with Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Ardmore Rotarians rallied our community to collect and send much-needed supplies to Charleston, South Carolina. Subsequently, we helped those affected by Hurricanes Andrew, Matthew, and Harvey. In 2006, when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, we rented a large tractor-trailer and delivered donated emergency supplies desperately needed by residents in the small town of Laurel, Mississippi. Again in 2012, Ardmore Rotarians responded to those devastated by Hurricane Sandy by driving trucks loaded with batteries, baby supplies, tools, generators, drinking water and other survival supplies and delivering them to people in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.
Fire Chief Tom Hayden is Ardmore Rotary’s disaster relief chairperson and leads our Disaster Committee that was created to respond when disasters strike. He coordinates Rotarians and Ardmore’s Merion Fire Company to deliver needed supplies in disaster-struck areas to people who need it most, when they need it most.
Earthquake Relief and a 40-Year Partnership across the Ocean
Three days after the devastation of the March 11, 2011 Japanese Earthquake, Ardmore Rotary and the Rotary Club of Tokyo led their respective Rotary Districts in collecting disaster relief funds from their local communities that totaled $127,500. Together with an additional $127,500 of matching funds donated the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, a permanent “Rotary Child Care House” was built in Rikuzentakata City in Northern Japan to care for the 2500 children and families in that devastated area. Construction of the one-story childcare home was completed on January 28, 2012 and the opening ceremony took placed on February 4, 2012.
In 2013, Ardmore Rotary accepted an invitation from the Tokyo Rotary Club to help obtain a Rotary Global Grant to fund a second center for mothers and children in Kesennuma City. Once again, our Club responded. Kesennuma Sukusuku House was established and opened for mothers and children in 2014. This center, originally operated in a renovated building, has since merged with a new children’s center, and today welcomes up to 3,000 mothers and children each year.
The Rotary Club of Tokyo has invited Ardmore Rotarians to attend the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Rotary Club, the first Rotary Club in Japan, in October 2020. A delegation of 12 Ardmore Rotarians and their family members plan to attend and present 100 dogwood trees in the spirit of peace and friendship.
Ardmore Rotary is a strong supporter of Shelter Box, an international disaster relief
charity established to provide emergency shelter and other aid items to families around
the world who have lost their homes due to natural disasters or conflict. A typical Shelter Box, at a cost of $1,000, includes a tent, mosquito netting, water carriers, water
filters, solar lights, cooking sets, blankets, other essentials, all packed in a sturdy green
container. Shelter Box response teams with the personal assistance of Rotarians distribute these boxes in disaster areas. Over the years our Club has donated funds to purchase many Shelter Boxes delivered to people in disaster areas. In 2019, Rotary International renewed its Project Partner agreement with Shelter Box that was originally established in 2012
Oaxaca Center in Mexico
Educational Funding for Oaxaca, Mexico Children
Since 2014, Ardmore Rotary Club has provided funds for up to five children to attend school each year in Oaxaca, Mexico.
This project came about as a result of a vacation visit by an Ardmore Rotarian to the Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots, a 25-year-old NGO begun by an American couple and operated out of Benton, Arkansas. Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots annually helps educate approximately 650 children from extremely deprived backgrounds, ranging in age from four to university level at 27. The program is supported by sponsors, donors, volunteers and visitors from 15 countries worldwide, who believe that education makes a difference in these needy children’s lives.
For $250, a child receives school fees, a uniform, two pairs of shoes, a backpack and school supplies. The program provides tutors, computers, a library, workshops, special programs and a nutritious breakfast and noon meal.
Last year, advanced degree graduates included an electrical engineer, a teacher, a mechanical engineer, a business woman, several computer systems engineers, nurses, a social worker, a hospital lab technician and an attorney.
These children just need to be given a chance to achieve, and Ardmore Rotary Club is committed to make that happen.
Water and Sanitation projects
Over the last two decades, Ardmore Rotary Club has contributed financially to water and sanitation projects in several areas of the world where needs are great. We have made cash contributions to charitable organization like Water for People for specific projects in Malawi, Africa and to the Nepal Foundation for a water and sanitation project in a remote village in Nepal. We became involved with the latter project by reason of the personal involvement and commitment of a former director of Aqua, a utility that provides water to so many in this area. Her work and supervision of this project, including her traveling by small airplane followed by a day on foot over a mountain just to reach the village, all while in her 70’s, was an inspiration to us all.
Youth Study Exchange
Every year, about 8,000 young people from around the world participate in Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program. Youth Exchange students travel to another country, live with host families (often Rotarians), learn a new language, and experience the culture of their host countries.
Exchange students become unofficial ambassadors for Rotary as well as for their country. They bring the world closer together while making lifetime friends. Rotary supports both long-term and short-term exchange programs. The long-term program is for a full academic, high school year. The short term program is usually during summer vacation for a month with no school attendance. Students for either exchange are sponsored by a local Rotary Club and are selected on the basis of a written application and personal interview. The requirements for a Youth Exchange Student:
• Between 15 and 18 1/2 years old at the time of departure
• Average or above academic achievement
• Outgoing and adventuresome
• Open to living in a different culture
Youth Exchange is open to the children of Rotarians as well as those of non-Rotarians. If this experience sounds interesting to you or for someone you know, contact an Ardmore Rotarian or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rotaplast International is a worldwide organization comprised of Rotarians who finance, organize and conduct medical missions to 26 underdeveloped countries where volunteer medical professionals perform corrective surgery for children with cleft lip and cleft palate. District 7450 has participated in missions to five continents for 20 years. District 7450’s Rotaplast Committee performs two tasks: fundraising and participation in the medical missions. The Club has sponsored medical missions since Rotaplast’s inception in 1999 and several Ardmore Rotarians have participated on teams. Most recently in 2018, Ardmore Rotarian Brannon Claytor, M.D., traveled with a Rotaplast team to Bangladesh where he tirelessly applied his plastic surgery skills for two weeks to help bring beautiful new smiles to the faces of almost a 100 children for the rest of their lives. We are so proud of what he accomplished. More than 1,400 children have been directly aided by our Club’s support. We intend to keep counting.
In 2017, Ardmore Rotarians began volunteering at Project C.U.R.E. of Pennsylvania in Southern Chester County. We were not alone. Many Rotary Clubs, Scout troops, and others also volunteer. What is Project C.U.R.E.? It is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world that delivers medical supplies and equipment to developing countries. These supplies, which include everything from crutches and beds to surgical supplies and infant formula, are donated by hospitals, medical clinics and physicians, near and far, to Project C.U.R.E.’s huge warehouse. Volunteers help collect, sort, pack and ship the items to approved third world medical clinics.
After a morning’s work, we leave the warehouse knowing Ardmore Rotary’s volunteers have made a big difference in the lives of many people.