Backpacks for Low Income Children

For the last five years, the Rotary Club of Wheaton has donated backpacks to the Humanitarian Service Project (HSP) for the county wide drive and also to District 200. In 2014 year, we donated a total of 1,700 backpacks for kids in need in DuPage County - 1600 backpacks were donated to Humanitarian Service Project who distributed the backpacks to students of families in need in DuPage County. The remaining 100 backpacks went to children in need in District 200.
 
Thanks to the Rotary Club of Wheaton, Target in Warrenville, the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce, community members and other donors at our annual Christmas Inn fundraiser, the club was able to fill these backpacks with school supplies. The backpacks were filled during the club’s regular lunch meeting on Wednesday, August 13, 2014. Many Wheaton Chamber of Commerce members and District board members and administrators were also present at the meeting to assist. Other items donated included 102 flash drives for middle school students and 170 lunch boxes for the elementary all day kindergarten program.
 
 
 
 
 

Work with Veterans

  In 2012-13, our club facilitated two projects with Veterans to support Veterans' successful reintegration into their community. 
In 2012, we raised ($$) to purchase a car for the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans. A 4-door sedan from Packey-Webb Ford was purchased for use to transport veterans to and from Hines Hospital and their jobs. Prior to the purchase of this new car, transportation to Hines Hospital for these veterans took over 1-1/2 hours, one way, by public transportation. Funds raised also went toward repairs on a small bus that Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans owns and uses to distribute blankets and offer assistance to homeless veterans.
In 2013, we raised ($$$) for two organizations, Wardogs Making it Home and America’s Vet Dogs.
 
Wardogs Making it Home provides therapy dogs to veterans. Therapy Service dogs are a proven recovery tool for these invisible disorders. Therapy dogs can also be trained to bark when they detect an oncoming seizure. These dogs are usually shelter animals, cost $1500-$5000 and are trained in as little as 4 months.
 
America’s Vet Dogs supplies service dogs to veterans who are disabled. Service Dogs are individually task trained to mitigate their owner’s disability as defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Service Dogs must meet behavioral standards for Public Access, which far exceeds that of a typical pet. The necessary training for a Service Dog is very extensive. Their disabled handlers have rights to equal access, which include utilizing a Service Dog to mitigate their disability. The waiting list to receive such a dog is over a year. 
 
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately every 65 minutes a veteran commits suicide. Most of these soldiers suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They suffer from the sights, sounds, and memories of the horrors of war. They carry this home with them, and depression and suicidal thoughts are common. According to the Department of Defense, 1 in 5 veterans suffer from PTSD, and 1 in 6 will attempt or have suicidal tendencies. This horrible epidemic is among the 2.4 million veterans and active duty members returning home. In fact, 184 new cases are diagnosed every single day! This is a win-win, saving 2 lives, the pets and the Vet. 
 
 

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