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Community Service Projects

January 1, 2016

Service Above Self is Rotary's motto. There are many ways to implement those words. Bennington Rotary has a long history of giving a range of services to the community. We need to remember this as we plan future projects. We can also learn from what other Rotary clubs do.

Service projects have ranged from those that take a great deal of time such as the Jim Ross Pavilion to those that take less time such as painting the walls of the library or cleaning up Deer Park. There are also on-going community service projects such as the annual Bell Ringing and the Four Way Test Contest.

Rotary has worked well with other organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Car Club for the Car Show and the Chamber for Garlic Fest. Working with other organizations can increase the impact of our efforts.

Although it is not always evident, our fund raising events are also in the service of the community since the money we raise goes back into the community by supporting scholarships and community organizations such as Oldcastle Theatre Company and Second Chance Animal Shelter.

One of our ongoing projects is the Bell Restoration Project which Jerry Albert is heading up. This group also has a Publication Sub-committee that is going to be recording the history of the bells as well as creating a children's book about the bells.

Achieving a balance between short term and long term projects should probably be the club's goal. As members contemplate other long term projects, there are a number of steps that should be considered. Finding out what the community needs through an assessment is the first step. We need to encourage new club members to share their ideas about possible projects, either short or long term.

After deciding on a project and evaluating the resources needed, the length of the project and its sustainability, developing a plan that includes the number of volunteers required and a work schedule is the next stage. Carrying out the plan and evaluating and documenting its success as a guide to future projects should help provide a structure and procedure for future projects.

Author: Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)

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