We are People of Action
From fighting hunger with food security to rebuilding schools, together we make real change happen. Our members pour passion, integrity and intelligence into completing projects with meaningful, lasting solutions.
Supporting Youth Development with Nanaimo Youth Services Association
Every night, around 100 youth in Nanaimo have nowhere to sleep according to Nanaimo Youth Services Association’s chief administrative officer, Keith Wilson. The number may well be higher now.
 
NYSA’s Rowe House helps youth who have been there. It assists youth who face barriers to housing, work, and education, and who struggle with mental health and substance use issues. Those who live at Rowe House are participants in NYSA’s skills training programs. With safe and secure housing, complemented by personalized in-house supports, these youth are better equipped to participate in programming that will enable them to care for themselves in the future. 
 
Supporting Mental Health in Our Community
Canadian Mental Health Association Mid-Island Branch supports over 330 people in our community with mental health and drug addiction issues. A $9,900 grant (which included a $3,500 USD contribution from Rotary District 5020) was used to purchase a new stove, dishwasher, secure lockers and bed-bug-proof furniture for their social centre in Nanaimo. These items will help them better deliver some of their programs and services to the most vulnerable individuals in our community.
 
The new kitchen appliances enable them to more efficiently prepare their weekly meals for 25 to 30 people. The weekly meal enables CMHA clients to make connections with each other as well as for CMHA staff to do further outreach in a more casual, social setting. The couch and chairs provide a comfortable setting for clients to socialize as well as participate in their meditation program. Ventilated industrial double-tier lockers alleviate the secure storage issue for street-entrenched individuals who need a safe place to store their belongings while they are participating in programs and services. CMHA is currently the only organization in Nanaimo offering such a service.
Supporting the Nanaimo Foodshare Society Initiative to Alleviate Hunger
As one of our centennial projects, we funded Nanaimo Foodshare for two walk-in coolers at its two-acre Cline Farm. The coolers allow workers to store fruits and vegetables grown on the farm for the non-profit's Good Food Box program. This effort came during the Covid-19 pandemic as more Nanaimo residents needed access to healthy food. 
 
With the coolers now in place we recently helped fund a tented area for use as an outdoor classroom. Many members spent time at the farm helping with shelving, harvesting, planting, mulching and weeding. In November, we helped sort the late fall harvest offerings
Helping Disadvantaged Women Gain Business Knowledge
Club member Yvan Gosselin built a beautiful vendor cart for the Society for Equity, Inclusion and Advocacy (SEIA). The cart will be used to help disadvantaged women gain knowledge of running a business and becoming more self-sufficient. All materials used for the construction were recycled materials with the exception of some hardware. Club member John Shillabeer coordinated the project through the Community Partnerships Committee.
Providing Book Boxes for the Community
Our members constructed and handpainted six book boxes to help increase community access to books and other reading materials.
 
Literacy Central Vancouver Island stocked the mini libraries and community members are free to take a book or leave a book. 
 
One box has been installed at the Nanaimo Foodshare office and others will be installed in other locations in Nanaimo and Cedar.
Supporting Literacy Needs in Central Vancouver Island
Our club supports Literacy Central Vancouver Island's many programs that help individuals in our community with literacy support. From reading, writing, numeracy or computer literacy, Literacy Central has been addressing literacy needs for three decades. 
 
With the success of our twice yearly book sale, we have been able to make substantial donations to Literacy Central. 
Giving Much-needed Technical Support to NYSA
We gave Nanaimo Youth Services Association $10k to purchase laptops for its staff, allowing for better flexibility and efficiency to serve their young clients.
 
NYSA operates as a not-for-profit to provide services and programs to young people principally in the Nanaimo Regional District of British Columbia.
Helping Hospice Create a Safe Environment during Covid Crisis
We have contributed over $50,000 to Nanaimo Community Hospice. From $1,000 to support volunteer training to $25,000 towards their building, our Club has supported many projects and programs to help ensure those who are dying, caregiving or grieving have the support they need. Our recent $2,500 funding helped the Hospice create a safe environment for those coming to their office for counselling, many of whom are higher risk seniors. The donation provided a plexiglass shield for the receptionist area, a UV Contamination light for the children's grief program and disposable masks.
 
Photo: Rotary Club of Nanaimo members Doug Cowling, President Elect Laurie Bienert, and Wendy Pratt, present Jeanne Fahlman (center), Director of Development at Nanaimo Community Hospice a cheque for COVID support.
Creating a Mural for Eden Gardens 

Our long history with Eden Gardens, a compassionate dementia care home for 130 residents, offered a project transforming a 30-metre-wide wall in the rear service area into a work of art. As many of the residents’ rooms face this wall, our goal was to give them a lovely view as others had of courtyards and nature.

We first took a panoramic picture at Neck Point Park that includes mountains, ocean, beach and wooded areas--giving residents a connection with nature. Our effort began in June 2020 and continued throughout the summer, completing a lovely mural for residents and staff who enjoy this scene every day.

Funding Senior Friendly Furniture for Nanaimo Family Life Association
Offering services that touch all stages of life, Nanaimo Family Life Association particularly needed new furniture that suited its senior programs. With our donation, NFLA bought sturdy, comfortable chairs, folding tables, a coffee/tea station, upholstered chairs, desks, lamps, an outdoor rug, exercise equipment and speakers, and filing cabinets. The new acquisitions gave the non-profit flexibility to quickly arrange for activities and comfortable, practical furniture for its counseling rooms.
 
Click on the picture to see more pictures of NFLA.
Promoting Education Savings
We partnered with the VIU Foundation and other partners to host a sign-up event in 2018 and 2019 to help low-income families learn about and sign-up for Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) for their children's post-secondary education.
 
In the second annual event we registered 100 families, who got a better understanding about available resources, including the Canada Learning Bond of up to $2000…helping them build a better future for their children. Our club volunteered with food and activities, donated $10,000, and accessed Rotary district grant funding to support the initiative.
Celebrating the spirit of Christmas with Bayview Elementary
Every year we work with others in our community to provide a full turkey dinner to some who may not otherwise have this experience. Members volunteer to serve this Christmas favorite to the students at Bayview Elementary. Students give a short concert afterwards to show their appreciation.