Metro chooses Fresh Air Home as 2016-17 Service Partner

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Metro Rotarians have spoken: In a super tight vote, Tybee Island-based Fresh Air Home narrowly edged out two other finalists, and more than a dozen applicants overall, to become our 2016-17 Service Partner.  
 
Metro raises roughly $10,000 for its annual service partner, and supports the nonprofit through various volunteer activities. 
 
So who is Fresh Air Home?
 
The Fresh Air Home, located on Tybee off Butler Avenue, has been in existence since 1939. The nonprofit offers a beach camp, overnight experience to at-risk children ages 4-11 from Chatham and surrounding counties.
 
The camp provides each child with all that they need. They must only bring a bathing suit and tennis shoes. While the children are with Fresh Air, they experience the beach twice daily, field trips, picnics, arts/crafts, music, outdoor sports, talent shows, square dances and movies.
 
What will Metro be doing?
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Money we raise will in part be used to replace the wooden floors in the main building, pictured above. Metro Rotarians will work on projects throughout the campus, including building shelving units, painting nursery furniture and dining room tables, enhancing playground equipment and the ball field, and lots of painting.
 

View Metro's Past Service Partners Below

 

2015-16 Forsyth Farmers' Market: Farm Truck 912

 
Metro Rotary's 2015-16 Annual Service Partner is the Forsyth Farmers' Market's Farm Truck 912 program. The truck makes four stops per week to neighborhoods across Savannah. As of January 2016, they are:
 
Department of Children and Family Services Center: Mondays, 10am-1pm
Moses Jackson Community Center: Tuesdays, 12:30pm-2:30pm
WW Law Community Center: Thursdays, 11am-1pm
* Note that the truck will not run on federal holidays.
 
Metro Rotarians can earn service credit by helping out at any of the farm truck 912's community stops. All that you need to do is just show up. Here's some info:
  • Days, times and locations:  http://forsythfarmersmarket.com/farmtruck/
  • Family Friendly (bring the kiddos)
  • No signup on the Metro Club Website
  • In case of unexpected schedule changes, please email Cyndi at farmtruck912@gmail.com before you head over to the community stop. 
  • Assisting at any of the community stops earns you service credit
  • Honor system of self-reporting.  After you complete 2 hours of service, you must email both Amelia Harper & Bea Saba at harper.amelia@gmail.com and sabab@liveoakpl.org to get service credit.
This is a great program, and the volunteer opportunities promise to be extremely rewarding. Hope to see you there!
 
About Farm Truck 912 
 
 
Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club will be helping Forsyth Farmers' Market with Food Truck 912 and the Bring It Home program.  Farm Truck 912 delivers the farmers' market experience and fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables via weekly stops in low-income neighborhoods.  Farm Truck 912 will utilize the proven SNAP/EBT and financial incentives for doubling purchases, helping low-income Savannahians afford healthy produce.
 
This project targets the neighborhoods in the three zip codes in the City of Savannah and Chatham County with the highest poverty levels and unemployment (31401, 31404, and 31415).  High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, all related to poor nutrition, are leading health problems in these neighborhoods. Each week, Farm Truck 912 will sell fresh, nutritious produce at community centers and other sites located in food insecure neighborhoods, increasing the availability of affordable, local fresh fruits and vegetables.  
 
In addition, Farm Truck 912 will be providing nutrition education and health screenings, with emphasis on the importance of healthy eating.  The Bring it Home project couples food education and outreach.  Forsyth Farmers' Market will combine Bring it Home activities to Farm Truck 912.  Through these efforts, we will encourage Savannah’s community members with the least access to good food and healthy choices to “bring home” knowledge of healthy eating and lifestyles, simple cooking and choosing more fresh fruit and vegetables for a well-balanced diet.  All Bring it Home project activities are designed to invite our neighbors to learn, move and grow in a healthy way both with us at the Forsyth Farmers’ Market or in their own neighborhoods via Farm Truck 912.  
 
 
2014-15 Metro Service Partner: Savannah Bicycle Campaign
 
Our second year, we partnered with Savannah Bicycle Campaign (SBC) by assisting SBC to build the New Standard Cycles bicycle lab.  The bike lab enables SBC to refurbish bikes and donate to those in need of reliable transportation to work and school.  Savannah Bicycle Campaign is a nonprofit membership based organization working to build a better Savannah through bicycling.
 
Savannah Bicycle Campaign works through advocacy with local government, education of drivers and cyclists, and encouragement of bicycling as a healthy means of transportation or recreation.  The goal, according to Savannah Bicycle Campaign Executive Director John Bennett, is to provide bikes to people who need safe and affordable transportation to get to work, school, doctor’s appointments and other places.  “We want to make it safer and more convenient for people who are not elective cyclists but who use bikes as their primary transportation,” he said.
 
 
2013-14 Metro Service Partner: Greenbriar Children's Center

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During the first year, Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club partnered with Greenbriar Children’s Center helping them to create a community garden.  The children were introduced to gardening and the garden is now both a source of income, as well as a food for the children.  
 
The Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club chose Greenbriar as its 2013-14 annual service partner. In doing so, Club members held two major fund-raisers for Greenbriar, built 20 irrigated raised beds on the Center's Hoskins Street property, and taught Greenbriar students the ins and outs of gardening.  Money donated will be used to help keep the garden up.  Produce harvested at the garden are being used in Greenbriar meals, and purchased by Savannah restaurant Green Truck Pub.  
 
The mission of Greenbriar Children's Center is to promote the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families. The nonprofit provides services that include an emergency shelter, runaway/homeless, residential car, independent living, family preservation, early childhood education and car, and Project Safe Place.
 
 
2012-13 Metro Service Partner: West Broad Street YMCA

Before we started the Annual Service Partner program officially, Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club's first service partner was the West Broad Street YMCA.  Members of the Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club presented the West Broad Street YMCA with a check for more than $4,000. The donation was used to pay for new soccer equipment and gear for the children.
 
The soccer program benefits children by teaching teamwork, commitment, healthy lifestyle and self-confidence. The director of the West Broad Street YMCA says the children will benefit tremendously.  "Well you know one of the mottos of rotary is service above self and this club really does exemplify that. So here they are taking time off of work, they raised money and they brought it in. They are coming in tonight, putting the goals together and bringing in the equipment. They are going to spend time with the kids. I mean, who could ask for more? It is absolutely perfect," said Peter Doliber, West Broad Street YMCA executive director.
 
 
About Metro's Service Program
 
“Service above Self” are words to live by here at Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club.  Since our Club’s inception, we have dedicated one meeting per month to community service projects.  Metro Rotarians have logged hundreds of community service hours annually for various worthy causes, but our club wanted to have an even greater impact on a specific project.  
 
A few years ago we developed the annual Service Partner Program.  This program enables Metropolitan Savannah Rotary to partner with an organization, focusing our fund raising and volunteer efforts toward a specific project of significant community impact within Rotary International's areas of focus.  
 
 
 
So What's Next?
 
On March 7th, 2016, the Selection Committee issued the 2016-2017 Service Partner Request for Proposal and all Club members are encouraged to solicit proposals from their favorite organizations.  Although the decision is never easy, the Selection Committee emphasizes the following elements:   
  • An opportunity for Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club to be a significant stakeholder of a specific project.
  • Sufficient volunteer opportunities that included activities which would appeal to the majority of our members.  Additionally, it was preferable that the volunteer opportunities would enhance the project that Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club would be supporting.
  • Understanding the project’s tangible impacts on our citizens.
  • Relevance to Metropolitan Savannah Rotary's six areas of focus
    • Peace and Conflict prevention/resolution
    • Disease prevention and treatment
    • Water and Sanitation
    • Maternal and Child Health
    • Basic Education and Literacy
    • Economic and Community Development
The Annual Service Partner selection process will follow this timeline:
  • Application deadline is Friday, March 25, 2016.A
  • Week of March 28, the Selection Committee will meet to determine a maximum of 6 applicant finalists.
  • All applicants will be notified of their status by Friday, April 8, 2016.
  • The Selection Committee will conduct in-person interviews on Friday, April 29 from 2:00 to 5 p.m.  Upon completion of the interviews the Selection Committee will convene to rank applicants.
  • The week of May 2, the Selection Committee will determine 3 applicant finalists.  A review of the 3 applicant finalists will be presented at the following Program Meeting.  At that time, all Metropolitan Savannah Rotary members will be encouraged to vote for their organization of choice.  Voting will close on Friday, May 20, 2016. The organization receiving the majority vote will be selected as the 2016-2017 Annual Service Partner.
  • Metropolitan Savannah Rotary will notify selected organization by the last week of May 2016. 
  • The Selection Committee will meet with the selected organization in June 2016.
  • The selected organization will present at one of our July 2016 Program Meetings.