SCHAUMBURG, IL (May 15, 2020) – When faced with adversity, Rotarians from the ROTARY CLUB OF SCHAUMBURG-HOFFMAN ESTATES roll up their sleeves and get to work! 

Upon the onset of COVID-19 in our area, an Action Squad was formed in early March to identify the greatest needs in our community. And then the squad, along with club members, got to work. They increased funding and brought resources and need together to benefit the most vulnerable in our local area.

To address Kenneth Young Center’s need for 300 face masks, one Rotarian (Holly Fath of Schaumburg) reached out to a family member for help. Dorothy Opferman, a retired 92-year old seamstress and former Chicago area resident, was only too glad to help and immediately got her sewing machine cranked up. To date, Dorothy has donated 100 face masks to the Kenneth Young Center, a community partner of the Rotary Club of Schaumburg-Hoffman Estates. 
Additionally, the HEC/POC [Higgins Education Center] leadership team has also stepped up and created 50 masks for the Kenneth Young Center.
But this Rotary club didn’t stop there. They also collected and donated numerous ice packs to fill an immediate KYC demand since Meals-On-Wheels are now left outside recipients’ homes. To facilitate KYC’s physician’s ability to work remotely with clients, the club approved funding for a new computer for this purpose. And to meet an increased demand for basic essentials and food at WINGS’ (Women in Need Growing Stronger) safe houses, the club allocated emergency funds and also organized a blanket/towel/ washcloth drive.

The club has stepped up to assist several other community partners as needs arose. For example, they connected Trickster Art Gallery in Schaumburg with Kenneth Young Center to facilitate delivery of Meals-On-Wheels to local homebound veterans by Trickster volunteers; funded food for this expanded program; and funded, packaged and delivered meals to local seniors (120 on average) every other Saturday as part of the Schaumburg Barn’s curbside pickup program.

To further meet a community need for basic essentials and food, Rotarians distributed grocery gift cards to clients at the Higgins Educational Center (HEC) in Hoffman Estates. In addition to addressing the need for essentials, the club acquired and distributed 100 Acme Art Kits from The Backyard Experience to stimulate creativity and at-home learning for the children of HEC clients. The Backyard Experience is the Midwest location for the Chuck Jones Learning Center. CEO Ben Olson has developed an online tutorial to teach children how to draw Looney Tunes characters. Nurturing the mind is as much a need as nurturing the body, particularly during these challenging times.

During the past 50 years, this very active service club has raised over $5 million for the Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates communities (including $250,000 for the Women’s & Children’s wing of the St. Alexius Hospital, $100,000 for the Children’s Home + Aid Society’s Schaumburg location, and $100,000 in annual education scholarships), contributed countless hours to hands-on projects and dedicated itself to helping the most vulnerable in our community.