I have been reminded several times recently how perilous many of our neighbors live.  For some, a day without work or a diagnosis of illness might be all that separates us from financial ruin.  We all bear witness, and some of us have experienced it ourselves.  We see it in the lines at the local food pantries worried about where their next meals will come from, in the faces of parents sitting in landlord-tenant court worried about where they are going to live next week, and in letters carrying unexpected medical bills through the mail to an anxious family just hoping their loved one will be OK.
 
If you have ever been in that situation, it is good to know that there are people who care.  A family I know who was being evicted last week found a home to stay in with an elderly gentleman whose wife recently passed away.  He could use the company, and they could use the roof over their heads.  The relief on their faces knowing that they were not going to be homeless last weekend was unforgettable.  You may have seen a similar look on someone’s face when you were gracious enough to give something extra.  It is a look of humble gratitude, often unspoken because the words are choked off.  Being on the receiving end of such a look has the power to change your life.
 
We get to do a lot of things as Rotarians where you can gain a small piece of that satisfaction and contentment.  If you need a boost, check the calendar for some of our upcoming club events:
 
  • March 30 we are hoping to have a group at the benefit for Bridgit Romano at Calloway’s (if you can go, please call or e-mail me ASAP so that I can get you a ticket).
  • April 18 we will be picking up Easter meals from Acme at 8:00 AM and delivering them to the Food Pantry.
  • June 1 we will be spending the day helping Habitat for Humanity at one of their work sites.
  • Ongoing we have been collecting canned foods for donations to the local food pantries.
 
Remember that if swinging a hammer is not your thing, but you like throwing dice, you can help out even by just going to our upcoming Casino Night.  Sell some tickets to your friend and family?  Even better.
 
If those don’t fit your schedule or your fancy, ask around----I bet there is a club somewhere here in South Jersey doing something that is right up your alley.  And those are just the local things.  If you can, consider traveling with a Rotary team for a National Immunization Day as part of the Polio Plus program or with a surgical team with Gift of Life International.  The opportunities to help, and the needs of people here locally and around the world, are limitless.