Rotary helps to make a difference
Following the recent death of George Michael we learned of his many extraordinary acts of charity - including a gift of £15,000 to a woman for IVF after he saw her on TV. He wanted to “Make a Difference” the self same belief expressed by Rotarians across the world.
Stamford St Martins Rotary has run a Christmas Tree Appeal since 2001 and collected over 15,000 gifts for children aged birth to 16 years. They know Christmas can be a difficult and stressful time for less fortunate members of the community and like to make a difference where they can. This year over 1,000 presents were donated and members decided some should go to the Down’s Syndrome Christmas party. Donations came from Sainsbury, Tesco, Thirdly School, Cummins, local beautician and many more! In addition to gifts provided for the party mentioned above others were given to Home Start and the Mother and Babies unit at Peterborough Prison. The Christmas Tree Appeal is now an established ‘happening’ in and around Stamford. Rotarians, those who donate and those who re- ceive all have fun!
At Stephenson Court older people enjoyed a Christmas dinner cooked for them by members of Peterborough Or- tons Rotary Club – Rotarians giving their time and culinary skills. Chefs at the Salvation Army prepared a delicious lunch for members of the Peterborough Rotary Memory Cafe. The Salvation Army generously supplied the food at cost and it was funded from money raised from Firework Fiesta. Over the festive period Rotarians from St Ives helped with a number of Christmas lunches and donated £1,050 towards their local senior club’s funds. Rotarian John Pilbeam commented: “Christmas is quite rightly a time of year when we focus on the youngsters, but we believe it is also important not to miss out the more senior members of our community.”
During December Santa sleighs raised money which will be given to charities and some used to support important Rotary projects. Well done to members of St Ives Rotary Club who raised over £9,000, Huntingdon Cromwell who (together with the Round Table) raised over £8,000 and Ramsey who raised over £7,500. Deepings Rotary worked with The Lions and their Santa was out and about from December 1st to 23rd. Santa’s rounds have now finished until next Christmas. All the clubs wish me to thank members of the public who gave so generously. We will spend your money wisely.
One example – last year, money raised by St Ives helped support Cambs Young Carers, Cruse Bereavement, Acorn Cancer Support, The Heron Club and local schools. Further afield it provided funding for flood relief in Cumbria, the Rotary End Polio Now Campaign, Shelterbox and sand dams. It allowed the club to run Young Musician, Chef and Writer competitions, charity quizzes etc.