February Foundation Greeting from Michelle Bell

Since 2007, Charity Navigator has awarded its highest rating of 4 stars to The Rotary Foundation. The honor recognizes charities that execute their missions in a fiscally responsible way while adhering to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities.

As Rotarians, we can be extremely proud of this distinction. Fifty percent of the donations we make to The Rotary Foundation come back the District, where we determine how funds should be distributed. This makes the Rotary Foundation unique and a great investment for your charitable contributions.

In this newsletter you will read about upcoming deadlines for District Grants and learn more about a Global Grant currently in process. I urge you to give to The Rotary Foundation and then benefit directly from your philanthropy by utilizing grant monies available to your clubs.

Grant Management Seminars set for March 24, 31

Grant Management Seminars assist clubs planning to submit District Grant applications for projects in their local communities during the 2018-19 Rotary year.

To be eligible for District Grant funds, District 5970 requires that clubs send a minimum of one member (two encouraged) to a Grant Management Seminar prior to the start of the 2018-19 Rotary year. Any Rotarian who attended the seminar last year may attend a shortened version this year called the Grant Management Seminar—Refresher.  All others need to attend the full seminar.

You can choose from two dates:

  • Saturday, March 24, at the Waverly Public Library in Waverly. The refresher course will run from 1 to 2 p.m. The full course is scheduled from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 31, at United Presbyterian Church in Garner. The refresher course will run from 1 to 2 p.m. The full course is scheduled from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

You may register for the seminar on our District 5970 website at www.district5970.org through the “Online Meeting Calendar.”  Please contact Don Meyer at donald.meyer@wartburg.edu with any questions.  

Clubs planning to apply for a Global Grant are strongly encourage to send a member to the Grant Management Seminar, though it is not required.  We’re trying a pilot project for Global Grant training this year and will briefly present the process and guidelines during the Grant Management Seminar full course.

We’ll also discuss next steps for any club wanting to move forward with a Global Grant. Those clubs will need to schedule a one-on-one meeting with Rebecca Schulz, District Global Grants Chair, to review the application guidelines in detail. Global Grant applications will be accepted for review throughout the year on a first-come, first-served basis. Direct questions to Rebecca Schulz, schulz.rotary5970@gmail.com.

District 5970 Rotarians involved in Global Grant providing
clean water access to 46 communities in Haiti

Eight District 5970 Rotary clubs are part of an international project to provide clean water access to 46 communities in Haiti.

The Marion-East Cedar Rapids, Algona, Mason City, Humboldt, Mason-City River Sunrise, Garner, Bancroft Area and Cedar Valley Rotary Clubs and Rotary District 5970 contributed more than $56,000 to the estimated $722,000 cost of the project.

A Global Grant from Rotary International plus contributions from Haiti Outreach and Rotary clubs in Haiti, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Tennessee support the Rotary Pignon Sustainable Clean Water Access Project.

 “This is what Rotary is all about, changing lives and doing good in the world,” said District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair Michelle Bell of Marion. Bell and eight other Rotarians from Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois traveled to Pignon in November 2017 to built relationships with Haitian Rotarians, Haiti Outreach leadership and government representatives. This past December, the project reached its first milestone with five well openings.

In all, the project will build 19 new community-managed wells and rehabilitate 27 dysfunctional wells over a two-year period.

A community management program for sustainability is part of each well installation. In addition, all 46 communities will receive sanitation and hygiene education as well as a latrine for every household.

Bell said 90 percent of residents of the commune of Pignon will have access to potable water within 500 meters of their homes.

 “This is history in the making,” Bell said of the Rotary project, noting that Pignon will become the first commune in Haiti to receive such a gift.

Above—A mother and child in the Pignon area in Haiti gather in December for the dedication of a well. Eight District 5970 Rotary clubs are involved in this $722,000 project to build 19 new wells and rehabilitate 27 dysfunctional wells.

Michelle Bell

District 5970 Foundation Chair