Last Thursday evening I took young Jack Perone to the Rotaract Meeting at USC. Very interesting to hear about the members, some uni students and some already employed in the workforce.
They were very proud to have had 2 articles in the last edition of Rotary Down Under Magazine which spoke of swapping skill sets on the Sunshine Coast. (Worth reading)
The club talked of their endeavours ie helping the Buderim Rotary Club to man a BBQ at their special Carols night. Helped Rotary Clubs at Garden shows and Nambour Show. And the club is planning A Star Wars Movie Night. They were very excited about last year’s Rotaract Conference held in Sydney, looking forward to the next one.
They are also involved in the Shoebox appeal, Donations of Dignity, Relay for Life, and will be heading to Bali next year, helping to build a library. Target of $5,000 for building costs.
Of course Jack and I were there to explore the possibility of the Rotary Club of Caloundra starting up a Rotaract Club in our area.
Advice as follows: Basic requirement is 14 young people
Promote within the community
Hold an information night
Approach Mountatin Creek TAFE
Ask Rotarians who may know young people between the ages of 18 and 30
Approach past RYLARIANS in the area
This is food for thought for us, both in what the local Rotaract club can do for us and how we in turn can help more young people in our area through our own Rotaract Club.
I welcome your feedback especially if you would like to be involved in any way.
ShelterBox Training Week-end
Wonderful to meet around 20 passionate individuals, mostly Rotarians (but not all) from Harvey Bay, Geelong, Yeppoon, Adelaide, Sydney, Pine Rivers, Canberra, Gosford, Coffs Harbour and Mt Crosby.
Some were ShelterBox Response Team members who told stories of their experiences.
We learned that the UK has taken away Box sponsorship as it believes in becoming more adaptable , providing shelter in whatever way is practical in each disaster area. Also some areas won’t allow boxes in the country i.e. Vanuatu and Nepal. Governments find victims will live in tents until tents have expired but not try to re-build, so tool kits can be more practical to repair homes and or build. ShelterBox continues to evaluate each situation so that the appropriate material, shelter and help is sent. Sometimes it might even be better to pay locals to clear rubble etc. In Sierra Leone boxes are sent out with food in them which is rare!
Careful thought also has to be given to various cultures, some cultures will not stay in a tent with corners as their homes are round (not to encourage evil spirits) so distribution of shelter kits are more valuable.
The Guest Speaker was one of the Rotary Peace Fellows. Tony has also been deployed in China with ShelterBox, distributing boxes after the 8 mag earthquake back in 2008. He also acted as a translater and ‘smuggler’!!!!! Literally had to smuggle the boxes in. 13 Rotary Clubs now in China, only 2 when he went.
Time was spent learning how to erect and dismantle the tents, (not the easiest!!!) but there is a demonstration video on u tube which is certainly worth watching.
Some fundraising ideas shared. Mat made up a smaller version of the green shelterBox which he carried on his back during a 100k bike ride from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. Bike rides are great for publicity as they attract thousands of people.
Park Runs are 7 am world -wide each morning, something Rotarians could tap into for fundraising ideas. (Not necessarily running themselves, you understand) Students could get involved during their cross-country finals. Evidently people will support most charities as all they really care about is the exercise and sport.
Another winning fundraising idea worth considering is selling real Christmas trees- great profit margin so I was told.
Day 2 (morning only)
After breakfast, spoke about Work place giving, and of the new inflatable solar light with a usb charger. Another new addition is the ‘First Aid Station’ basically a new improved water filter.
Another successful fundraising event was WOMADelaide 4 day event attracting 80,-000. Having a stall there brought in $12,500 for ShelterBox.
Could even think of renting out the tents at an event!!!!
All in all a great experience especially knowing what it was like to sleep in one of the tents!!!!!