Rotary International has a website dedicated to showcasing major projects that Rotaract Clubs and Rotary Clubs organize or take part in. These are initiatives that required funding or a higher than typical amount of organization effort (more so than our typically monthly events). Here’s some of our submissions of projects from the past year!
Help at DPW’s Compost Bin & Rain Barrel Sale 2019
In June 2019, we assisted in City of Milwaukee’s annual compost bin & rain barrel sale to promote a greener city.
The City of Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works organizes an annual sale for residents to purchase compost bins, rain barrels, and other accessories at discounted rates, direct from the manufacturer. Rotaractors unloaded the truck full of materials, set up inventory, and helped customers with bringing the items they purchased to their cars. A portion of the sale proceeds was donated to Rotaract Milwaukee for use in other community and international projects.
Going Green in Milwaukee Speaker Series
In July 2019, we gathered local organizations together for an info session about environmental causes in Milwaukee and how they are helping the community.
The presentation was open to the public. Included speakers from the following local organizations: Clean Wisconsin, Citizen’s Utilities Board, Cream City Conservation, and Young Enterprising Society. The event was organized by Rotaractors and held at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee.
Food Serving Night at a Basic Needs Shelter
Rotaract members donated food for dinner, prepared it, served shelter guests and their children, and cleaned up afterwards.
On a Saturday night, Rotaractors went to Milwaukee Women’s Center, a shelter run by Community Advocates, Inc. that provides basic needs to women and families in Milwaukee (shelter from family violence, homelessness, provides financial advocacy, and more). Our group brought food for a taco night, prepared it using their kitchen, served it to the guests and children who were at the shelter that night (about 20 adults), and then cleaned up afterwards.
Bingo Fundraiser for Bridge in Guatemala
Rotaract worked with a local restaurant to organize a Drag queen bingo night to help raise money for a new foot bridge in Guacamayas Hamaca, Guatemala.
The village of Guacamayas Hamaca currently has an ~8 year old foot bridge that is in poor structural shape. This bridge is used by members of the community on both sides of the river to walk to market, school, hospital, and other resources (the community on one side of the bridge lacks running water and electricity). During the rainy season it is especially dangerous to cross this bridge, and locals fear that if it collapses it will cause hardship for the community. Thanks to a referral from our Rotary sponsor, Milwaukee Rotary, we were able to get in touch with the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) group that is planning to design a new bridge. Our event helped raised a portion of money needed for EWB-Marquette University to work on this bridge (the project is primarily being funded by Rotary, MU student fundraisers, and materials from the local community in Guatemala). Rotaractors solicited and donated prizes for this fundraising event, which was held at a local restaurant named Hamburger Mary’s.
Wrapping Gifts with McKey Christmas Club
Rotaractors volunteered their time to wrap presents being donated to families and seniors in need.
On a Saturday morning, Rotaractors, Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, and guests joined other community members (of the McKey Christmas Club) at a foundry that was hosting a wrapping event. We all split into teams, with every table taking turns wrapping gifts that were purchased by McKey Christmas Club using donated funds (Our Rotaract club contributed to the fund). About half of the wrapping volunteers at the event were from our club or guests of Rotaractors. Due to this large group, we were all able to complete the wrapping activity sooner than expected.
Volunteer @ Home Day
With shelter-in-place in effect throughout the State of Wisconsin due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Rotaract Club of Milwaukee organized a volunteering day to encourage members to do service either at home or in their local neighborhoods.
Normally our club would organize a hands-on volunteering event or project each month. However, with stay-at-home and limited gathering size laws in effect, we were not able to do this in the usual manner during May 2020. Before the day of volunteering, our Local Service/Volunteering Co-Chair researched potential ways people could volunteer on their own – either at home or in their neighborhood. We created a list and asked members to think of ideas for ways people could help out. Rotaractors went outside to pick-up trash, cleaned out their closets for clothing donations, and volunteered online with MissingMaps.org (mapping out buildings and roads based on satellite images for the Red Cross outside of the US).