BECKLEY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The Beckley Club of Rotary District 7545 has raised $10,000 to buy food, clothes and presents for 32 families in need.
According to Dan McCarthy, District Governor Nominee, the club raised money through several avenues, but most of the funds came from the pockets of the members themselves.
“A month ago, this idea came from one member who said that we needed to make a difference in the community. They said, ‘Let’s raise $10,000 in four weeks,’ and many people asked how we could do that, but we did it. Sometimes you surprise yourself, and this is a genuine demonstration of what folks of the local community can do. It’s about West Virginians taking care of West Virginians,” McCarthy said.
The funds were used to purchased 100 pounds of nonperishable food for each Raleigh County family in need, as well as several articles of winter clothing and a Christmas present for each child in the home.
The Rotary Club worked directly with four elementary schools in Raleigh County to determine which students and their families were truly in need.
“We have supported charities in the past, but this time we just said rather this or that how about we find the ones who need it the most right here in our schools,” said Carol McCarthy, the Rotary Club Community Service Chair.
These schools included Marsh Fork Elementary, Clear Fork Elementary, Fairdale Elementary and Beckley Elementary.
The club also sent a $1,500 check to Beckley Stratton Middle School in place of the food and clothes.
Carol explained that two club members, April Badtke and Dr. Kristi Dumas spearheaded the project while she and Dan McCarthy purchased, hauled and sorted, boxed and labeled all the boxes for delivery.
Other members helped shop for clothing and individual gifts.
To keep the families anonymous, the club also worked with the schools to distribute the gifts. Distribution day was Tuesday, Dec. 22.
“This past year was extremely difficult with COVID-19,” McCarthy began. “We knew there was a significant need, and we wanted to make a difference.”
Carol agreed, adding that the Rotary Club is about “selfless service.
“This has touched several members deeply. They came from similar backgrounds themselves and remember what it was like. It tugs at the heartstrings. It feels like we could all be Santa this year and make a difference to those who needed it the most.”
Rotary District 7545 is part of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of neighbors, friends and community leaders who join together to take action and improve local communities around the world. District 7545 is comprised of over 2,000 Rotarians in 54 clubs throughout West Virginia.