Serve to Change Lives has been our call this year from RI President Shekhar Mehta.  Our Newsletter Team thought it might be a good idea to just check in with clubs and see how we’ve been doing so far.  (Yes, the year isn’t over yet, so there is still plenty of life-changing time left!)  Here’s what I got from Kelly Drew in N. Conway.
I attended a local art show in our park this summer and met a lady who was selling pictures she took in Africa along with items that were made from a village in Zambia she has volunteered at to feed an estimated 200 children twice a day.  She comes back to the US to fundraise for a couple months so that she can pay for the food.  I believe the figure was around $800/month to feed the children (13,200 meals).  I asked her if she would be interested in speaking at our club before she returned to Africa.  She agreed.  COVID had impacted that community significantly.  Her visits were quite limited, and the food supply was as well.  (Back story:  She crossed paths with our very own Dr. Hubbell who is the founder of SOLO – long story and I won’t get into that – but we had a link to our club.)  In October, she spoke from her heart and touched all of us.  In turn, at that very meeting, we collected over $330.00 for her out of our own pockets – about 8 of us) and the Board of Directors quickly met after the meeting and approved another $1,000.00.  She was given the money the following afternoon (as we knew she was leaving the next day) and was quite overwhelmed.  We just provided funding for approximately 24,000 meals for children in Zambia!  We realize that a daily supply of proper nutrition is essential for healthy growth…in mind body and soul.    A happenstance meeting evolved into something really beautiful!
As if Serving to Change Lives wasn’t enough, Shekhar also challenged us to break that membership ceiling of 1.2 million we’ve experienced for more than a decade through a program he called: Each One Bring One.  And we have been growing as a District!  Here’s another story from Kelly.
This past November, our club held our annual Radio auction.  One of our members had a clever idea to pay for a membership and offer it as an item to auction off.  The individual who was the successful bidder has been pondering about joining for a few years.  She was so excited to find out she won the prize!  She has attended a couple of our evening meetings and one regular meeting.  She has a disabled adult son who accompanies her and he, too looks forward to attending.   At this point, we plan to officially induct her next month.  She has offered to teach us some basic sign language in a future meeting and is all in on some planned projects.  Thanks to one of our long-time club members (and former President) who was “thinking out of the box” to bring in a new member!