The Rotary Club of Moultrie was able to be participate in the USDA's "Farmers to Families" food box program. We missed the chance in October 2020 (by 1 day) so were very glad for another opportunity to come available with the program. We have partnered with the United Way of Colquitt County and Trinity Baptist Church to organize the event. Our food truck arrived on April 10 with 1100 30-pound boxes of food that we distributed *free* to anyone and everyone in our community. We gave away every single box - loading them into 312 different vehicles - and finished right before the rain started. Rotary members were on hand - along with almost 50 other volunteers - to unload and distribute the boxes as well as direct traffic during the event. This event was also submitted as part of the Zone 33-34 "Feed 10 Million" initiative.
Thanks to a Rotary District 6900 connection we were able to receive a large supply of masks and hand sanitizer to be distributed to local nonprofits this spring. Chip Blalock delivered to Green Oaks Center (pictured with Michelle Folsom), Crossroads Gospel Rescue Mission (Thomas Chappell), and Life Under The Son Ministry. Anna Ford delivered to Hero House (pictured with Regina Dismuke), Serenity House, and the Forgotten Initiative. We also made visits to Hope House and the Colquitt Food Bank. We were also able to receive and distribute sanitizing wipes to our local school system in the fall. So glad for the opportunity to connect these organizations with items they can use!
The Rotary Club of Moultrie launched its "Little Free Library" initiative this year and has placed a total of 7 libraries in our community. The libraries are repurposed newspaper boxes donated by the local paper, the Moultrie Observer, and spruced up with fresh powder coating and graphics. Each library is a book-sharing box where people of all ages can come to take a book or leave a book, promoting literacy and encouraging more people to read. Rotary members helped pick up and clean the boxes, and then helped deliver them to the final locations. Several Rotary members participated by donating books for each box. The libraries have been very popular with the community and have seen a lot of traffic - so much so that we have received requests for additional boxes. We are now working with the local school system to place at least 5 more at our elementary schools for when school is out during the summer.
The Rotary Club of Moultrie started its "Working Lunches" as a new concept for 20-21, and this project was our first undertaking. Operation Gratitude is an organization that supports active duty military, first responders, and veterans by way of care packages. We spent the meeting hour personally signing Christmas cards to go into these packages.
The Rotary Club of Moultrie held its 2nd Annual "Pints for Polio" event to raise funds and awareness for the eradication of polio. On the Thursday before World Polio Day, Rotary members gathered to eat, drink, and be merry in support of the End Polio Now movement. For every pint purchased that night - and for every plate of food ordered - The Square Restaurant contributed $1.00 to the cause. Not only did we raise money for a great cause, it was also good for public image - we had at least 5 individuals inquire about Rotary and what we do, and 1 of those has joined as a member! This event was also registered on EndPolio.org as a World Polio Day event.
Through a Rotary connection - a member from another District 6900 club who happened to visit a meeting one day while in town for business - our club had the opportunity to place an ad on the newest digital billboard in Moultrie. The billboard was located on Hwy 319 which is the main north-south thoroughfare in Moultrie, and the ad appeared for approximately 10 seconds once every 2 minutes. What was initially going to be a 3-day deal turned into 3 weeks which even had the Kiwanis club asking how we had pulled it off! :-) This was a fantastic opportunity for Rotary to have some exposure in our town.
The Rotary Club of Moultrie decided to partner with a different school each year in order to share the wealth of our district grants. Stringfellow Elementary is one of ten (10) elementary schools in the Colquitt County system, and it located in an area of town that falls lower on the socioeconomic scale.
Our second "working lunch" of the year helped us complete our "Rotary Has Heart" project for senior citizens living in our local assisted living and nursing facilities. Rotary members formed a walking assembly line to fill Valentine bags with assorted chocolate candy, peppermints, Starburst, and Smarties. We also included hand sanitizer wipes and a Rotary Valentine card. Over 325 bags were completed and delivered to 6 different locations within the Moultrie community just in time for Valentine's Day.
The Rotary Club of Moultrie is hosting it's first Annual "Salute to Service" event this year to honor our high school seniors who have committed to enter military service after graduation. With so much attention and publicity for athletes who sign college scholarships, we feel it is just as important to recognize those who are signing on for a much greater commitment and sacrifice. Students and parents will be in attendance, as well as school staff and local recruiters. Rotary members who are veterans will each give a short word of advice to the group before they are presented with a custom challenge coin to mark the occasion. We also plan to maintain contact with each student as they enter service so that we can send cards and care packages.
In partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Moultrie, Rotary helped stuff over 800 stockings for local children. Each stocking contained a knit hat, mittens, toothbrush, comb, note pad, and candy. The children were connections made through the Boys & Girls Club, Dept. of Family and Children Services and The Forgotten Initiative (which serves foster children in our area.) Rotary members helped pick up and deliver the items to the work location, and then helped assemble and stuff the stockings.
Weekly bulletin put together by the President. Printed and delivered to meetings by the Immediate Past President. Constant elements include: Program of the Day, program schedule, Four Way Test, Rotary theme, club officers, and birthdays/anniversaries. Rotating elements include service projects, club events, member recognition, "Meet the Members" spotlights, "Rotary Means Business" spotlights, Rotary trivia, Rotary monthly themes, and assorted Rotary information. Bulletins are also attached to the president's weekly email to the club.