Interact is Rotary International's service club for young people ages 14 to 18. Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting. The Carmel Rotary is a proud sponsor of the Carmel High School Interact Club.

Interact derives its name from the words "International" and "Action," reflecting the nature of an organization that promotes active service at home and abroad. Interact provides a powerful force of youthful enthusiasm and energetic service.

Club membership varies greatly. Clubs can be single gender or mixed, large or small. They can draw from the student body of a single school or from two or more schools in the same community. Presently at Carmel High School we have 79 members from the freshman through senior class.

This year's service projects range from volleyball and basketball tournaments to working together on community floats. This year we will be providing food and clothing to the homeless in partnership with the "Midnight Run Organization" of New Your City. Midnight Run is a volunteer organization dedicated to finding common ground between the housed and the homeless. We have raised dollars in support of the "Invisible Children" in Africa. Invisible Children improves the quality of life for war-affected children by providing access to quality education, enhanced learning environments, and innovative economic opportunities for the community. We have raised money for the Putnam Humane Society and are working towards raising $1000 to purchase a "Shelter Box". The purpose of Shelter Box USA, Inc. is to provide victims of disaster with shelter, by supporting the efforts of the Shelter Box Trust. Shelter boxes are usually packed with one (sometimes two) ten-person tent(s) (200 sq ft). Other items can include insulated sleeping mats and bags, thermal blankets, water purification tablets, water containers/carriers, a trenching shovel, rope, a hatchet, a jack-knife, a screwdriver, a hammer, a multi-fueled cook stove, eating utensils and plates, and a children's' activity kit.

Each year, Interact clubs throughout the world complete at least two community service projects, one of which furthers international understanding and goodwill. Through these efforts, Interact members develop a network of friendships and learn the importance of:

  • Developing leadership skills and personal integrity
  • Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others
  • Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work
  • Advancing international understanding and goodwill

As one of the most significant and fastest-growing programs of Rotary service, with more than 200,000 members, 10,700 clubs, in 110 countries and geographical areas, Interact has become a worldwide phenomenon. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to play a small part in this wonderful program to serve others.