Posted by Jim Bolas
President Emanuel Panos chaired the meeting
Club Schedule
  • June 13th – TBD
  • June 20th – Rachel Harris – Service Above Self Award
  • June 27th – Changing of the Guard
  • Emanuel Panos – Congratulations to Karen Pfeil on the recent birth of a new grandchild.
  • Ray Kells – A Club member volunteer driver is required to fill the 5th Tuesday slot and be a sub for Meals on Wheels.
Speaker – Jim Guffey – Executive Director - South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM)
President Panos introduced Jim Guffey the Executive Director of SHIM since 2008. Jim thanked the Club for inviting him to the meeting and for the support The Rotary Club of Bethel-St. Clair and other South Hills Rotary Clubs have given SHIM over many years.
Jim explained that SHIM has provided support for those in need in the South Hills Community for over 50 years and reminded the members that child poverty does exist in South Hills noting the poverty rates of school-age children in various communities – USC (5%), Bethel Park (6%), Mt. Lebanon (6%), South Park (7%), Baldwin-Whitehall (15%). The highest poverty rate in Allegheny County is in the Keystone Oaks school district at 23%. SHIM serves 1700 South Hills residents through its food pantries the same level as during the recession in 2008-2009.
SHIM has initiated a new program called “Checkmates”, a telephone reassurance program which utilizes older adult volunteers who make weekly calls to isolated senior citizens as a wellness check to establish a good relationship and recommend services if required.
SHIM also has a program which helps children utilizing funding from corporations which take advantage of state tax credits which are allowed to be directed to specific non-profit programs.
Jim noted that the South Hills Community has been challenged by foreign-born residents who have come to settle in the South Hills area due to the number of residents of certain ethnic groups and the affordability of housing and cost of living. The largest foreign-born ethnic group is the Bhutanese who are refugees from Nepal. There are over 5000 Bhutanese in the Pittsburgh area. The Bhutanese are hardworking people.
Jim stated that he has learned that the two things which are important for a foreign-born to be productive in Pittsburgh are: (1) a car and (2) a cell phone.
President Panos thanked SHIM for all they do in the South Hills Community and for providing volunteers for the Club’s Pancake Festival and presented a check to Jim representing a share of the proceeds from the annual fundraiser.
Jim Guffey and Emanuel Panos