Local Community Services
Oakland Rotary collaborates with and supports local partners to tackle complex issues and provide solutions to help our community reach its greatest potential.
In 2019-2020, Our Local Service and Youth Projects Included:
- Supported over 700 students in 35 transitional kindergarten (TK) and combined TK/kindergarten classrooms in Oakland public schools: by organizing weekly volunteers for classrooms; awarding $12,000 to teachers to purchase classroom items: in conjunction with the Oakland Public Education Fund, paid for a project to improve attendance in four schools; funding a music program for TK students at La Escuelita Elementary School; through the Susie Elkind Summer Book Reading Program (honoring former Rotary employee and benefactor Susie Elkind), gave away 3500 new books – five per student; and donating $15,000 to the Oakland Zoo and $5,000 to Children’s Fairyland, two long-term partners of the Kinderpep committee that were impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
- Celebrated the 26th year of the H.OP.E. (Help Oakland Pupils Excel) program, which pairs 7th graders with Rotarian mentors and sets expectations for the students’ attendance, grades, and citizenship. This year, the H.O.P.E. program grew to seven mentees, and the committee held group activities for mentees and mentors, including a pool party, a Zoo trip with literacy seminar, and a Zoom party. Also, for the first time, a H.O.P.E. mentee received both a Saroni Lena scholarship and a H.O.P.E scholarship.
- Presented $8,000 Saroni-Lena scholarships to nine Oakland high school seniors. Continued collaboration with East Bay College Fund to provide academic support to the Saroni-Lena scholars and coaching support to the Rotarian mentors.
- Sponsored Interact Clubs at Skyline, Oakland, Oakland Tech, Oakland Charter and American Indian Model High Schools; supported the Clubs’ attendance at the annual fall conference and President’s winter retreat; and assisted with their first-time participation in Purple Pinkie Day, which raised $1,270 toward polio eradication.
- Organized both the annual Club-level and Area-level high school speech contest, engaging 16 Club members and helping three high school students hone their speaking skills.
- Through the Club’s Homelessness and Food Insecurity Task Force, partnered with Laney College to distribute groceries to 150-200 students weekly.
- Conducted hands-on service projects with the Alameda County Community Food Bank, the Police Activities League (PAL) camp in the Oakland hills, and the Meltzer branch of the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland.
- Supported a data-analytics training program for youth participants in the Police Activities League’s Midnight Basketball program.
- Made a grant to Onyx Scholars to develop a pop-up tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities for Oakland Unified School District students.
- Funded camping equipment for a new co-ed Boy Scout troop in East Oakland.
- Helped finance the build-out of new studio and performing space for Gritty City Youth Repertory Youth Theater.
- Provided funds to the City of Oakland’s ACE Kids Golf program for golf clubs and virtual reality goggles
- Funded Driveway Follies’ projects to help preserve professional marionette puppetry.
- Raised $15,000 from individual members and guests at the annual “Feed the Hungry” appeal and distributed the proceeds to nine nonprofits providing food services: Operation Dignity, Bay Area Meals on Wheels, St. Vincent de Paul, First Presbyterian Church, Harbor House, St. Mary’s Center, Catholic Worker Food Program, Prescott-Joseph Center, and Alameda County Community Food Bank.
- In response to the COVID-19 crisis, donated $5000 to the Oakland COVID-19 Relief fund, $5000 to the Oakland REACH Relief fund for immediate cash grants to families in need, $15,000 to Alameda Health System Foundation for personal protective equipment, $1,000 to Feed ER East Bay to fund restaurant meals for first responders, and additional funds to the nine nonprofits that received Feed the Hungry funds.
In addition to supporting Rotary International global projects such as the 30+ year fight to eradicate polio, Oakland Rotary collaborates with non-governmental organizations and Rotary Clubs in other countries to address global humanitarian issues.
IN 2019-2020, Our International Reach Included:
- Funded four grants to improve community water systems: a global grant for bathrooms and sanitation stations at a school in El Salvador, a global grant for waste-water treatment facilities and toilets in Tansa Valley in India, a grant for water filters in the Bahamas and a grant for water wells in Kenya.
- Funded three health-related grants: a global grant for natal and neo-natal equipment in a hospital in Guatemala, a grant for eyeglasses for children in Medellin, Columbia, and a grant for infectious disease testing supplies in Ecuador.
- Funded an economic development project to help women in Guatemala build small businesses
- Continued the student exchange tradition in summer 2019 with sister city Fukuoka, by sending one student, from the El Cerrito High School Japanese language program, to Japan and hosting one student from Fukuoka.
- Rotarians participated in the 2020 Uniendo America Project Fair in Antigua, Guatemala. This annual fair in Central America facilitates local relationships and service partnerships among clubs across the globe.
- Thanked each weekly speaker with a donation in his/her honor to “End Polio Now,” providing a total amount that will enable 1,000 children to have a life free from the crippling disease and raised additional funds from Oakland Rotarians.
- Celebrated Club members who this year gave over $80,000 to the Rotary Foundation, thus helping to support projects that transform lives both close to home and across the globe. Of this amount, $60,000 went to the Foundation’s Annual Share fund and $7,000 to the End Polio Now campaign,