Ambergris Caye Rotary Club gives back to the community
Thursday, May 12th, 2016
The newly installed Rotary Club in San Pedro has been actively seeking ways to assist the island community. Their latest project focused on education, engaging in community projects such as cleaning and beautification. The Club also completed a successful book drive in which they were able to collect thousands of books. The books were donated to the San Pedro Public Library, the Caye Caulker Library, Belize City Library, Seventh Day New Horizon Adventist School, Holy Cross Anglican School, Shining Star Pre-School, Brighter Tomorrow, Ambergris Caye Elementary School special needs class, Ministry of Education Resource Room and the Literary Program on the island.
The book drive was the highlight part of the project. After collecting the books, Rotary Club team members had the arduous task of carefully cataloguing each book before distributing them to the respective educational institutions. “It was a long hard week sorting out books, but all was made possible thanks to the efforts of members of the club,” said Rotarian Brittney O’Daniel.
According to O’Daniel, the drive couldn’t be successful without the assistance of a big donor. The very charitable Syme family made a donation of 4,500 books to the drive. Tallied with the community donations, the book drive surpassed expectations, with a total of 5,500 books collected. “It was an amazing success,” said O’Daniel. “I am overwhelmed by the response of the community contributing so many books.” According to her, about 2,000 of these books will go to the San Pedro Public Library, while the rest will be distributed to the assigned schools and educational institutions.
Besides the book drive, the Club was involved in other community activities which again included the education sector. “We also did some work at the Seventh Day New Horizon Adventist School, where we also donated books,” said O’Daniel. Some of the classrooms in the school were painted, while some carpentry work was done on the veranda of the cafeteria. The group also did a garbage clean- up in and around the school and many large garbage bags were filled. “We are just happy to help where we can,” said O’Daniel. At the end of the day the school had painted classrooms, cleaner grounds, and a stronger veranda at their cafeteria.
The Rotary Club is glad to be able to render this type of assistance to the community and they look forward to doing other community projects around the island. Early in March, the Club was able to donate five wheelchairs to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II.
Special acknowledgements go out to the Syme family for their great contribution, and Pam Preston who came up with idea of a book drive. To the team of volunteers Kaitlin McWhorter, Dee Regis, Jasmine Hartin, Michelle Nuñez, Dustin-Jodie Bowen, Jo Sayer, Eduardo Vasquez, Andrew Ashcroft, Susan Traverse Barkhouse, Callie Renee, Scott Barkhouse, Jason Malloy, Sarah Zashin, Britney Travis, The Banyan Bay Staff, Projects Abroad volunteers and all the donors who made this possible.
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