RCA Teams Up With Angela's Kitchen
to Serve Midway Shelter Residents
Saboor Zafari and Cody Moehring pass out three course dinners to RCA President Will Thomas, Secretary Karen Platt, and Community Service Director Joyce Mercado.
When COVID-19 swept through America effectively shutting down all of RCA's traditional service and fundraising activities for President Jeff's year, the organization could have simply pulled back and waiting for the restrictions to be lifted. After all, many people thought that the country would be back in business in a few months. Oh how wrong we were.
Once it became clear that COVID-19 would continue to alter the way we served the community on an ongoing basis, it was time to brainstorm new and different ways to serve the community and keep members involved.
"People join Rotary to serve the community and connect with others. Without creating opportunities to serve and build friendships, Rotary becomes less relevant and that is not an acceptable outcome."
The Midway Shelter Dinner Donor Project originally was created to respond to a desperate plea from Building Futures (the nonprofit organization that manages the shelter) to recruit "dinner donors" - local community members who prepared home cooked meals for the residents of the shelter. According to Ana Maria Kahiri - Director of Development and Communications for Building Futures, "Many of our dinner donors were retired community members that no longer felt safe shopping at grocery stores to prepare home cooked meals for the women and children housed at the shelter."  Enter the Rotary Club of Alameda.
Past-President Jeff recalls, "When I read the Building Futures Letter to the Editor in the Alameda Sun soliciting dinner donors, I knew that this was exactly the kind of community need that Rotary was destined to fill." From its inception, the RCA Dinner Donor Program was designed to fulfill the two major goals of Rotary - Service to the Community and Building Relationships through Fellowship.
Working with Co-Chair and new Rotary member Ngoc Tai (left), RCA reached out to the Kiwanis Club of Alameda to collaborate on the project with each organization signing on to be a dinner donor once every other month on the fourth Thursday. Rotary selected Thanksgiving Day 2020 to start its service by providing a full course traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
"Our members really stepped up and supported the project with many members cooking portions of the meal or purchasing items to contribute to the effort." said Ngoc Tai - Co-Chair of the 2020-2021 Committee. "Jeff and I drove around to member's homes to pick mashed potatoes for eight or pumpkin pies from Greer Family Mortuary. It was a very rewarding experience."
Clockwise from upper right corner: Alice Lai-Bitker and Karen Kenny deliver side dishes, Susan Jeffries and George Fitzgerald slice up Zucchini Bread, Christine Annitone and Tiger contribute pumpkin pies, Karen Platt pulls freshly roasted carrots from her oven, and 20 lb. and 32 lb. turkeys are ready for delivery.
The Midway Shelter Project will continue into Rotary year 21-22 according to Will Thomas the new president. "With most members being vaccinated and restrictions being relaxed, the Dinner Donor program will be one of several programs that the Club will be supporting to serve the community and bring our members together for fellowship and collaboration."
RCA President Will Thomas, Secretary Karen Platt, and Community Service Director Joyce Mercado.

Want to know more about Building Futures and the Midway Shelter? Please check out this short video describing the services available to women and their children who are the victims of domestic violence.
Upcoming Speakers
Casey Farmer
Feb 07, 2023
Census 2020: Alameda County's Effort to Get Out The Count
Census 2020: Alameda County's Effort to Get Out The Count

Casey Farmer is an expert in public affairs and community relations in Oakland and the East Bay. Her experience stretches from political campaigns, to community engagement, to developing public policy in which she has built strong relationships in the community. Casey began consulting full time in 2021, on projects ranging from redistricting to guaranteed income for former foster youth. From 2018 - 2020, she served as the Executive Director of Alameda County's Complete Count Committee for Census 2020 where she managed communications, community engagement, and outreach grants. She previously served as Campaign Manager, and later Communications Director to Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley). Prior to her work in the Legislature, she served as Policy Analyst and Community Liaison for Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, whose campaign she managed in 2012. Casey has also worked in philanthropy for The Rogers Family Foundation and as a high school teacher for students with learning disabilities at Youth Empowerment School (YES) in Oakland Unified School District. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco in Sociology and Public Service and also holds a Master’s degree in Education. In her personal capacity, she serves as Chair of the Rockridge Community Planning Council. She is a joyfully exhausted mom of two toddlers and is married to her college sweetheart.

Past Speakers
District Governor Savita Vaidhyanathan
Jan 31, 2023
District Governor Savita Vaidhyanathan
Club Meeting Information

"Service Above Self"

We meet In Person & Online
Tuesdays at 12:30 PM
La Val's Pizza & Virtual
891 Island Dr. Suite E.
Alameda, CA 94502
United States of America
The Rotary weekly meetings will be held on the first three Tuesdays of the month from 12:30 - 1:30. RCA has a hybrid meeting model, meeting both in-person and virtually.
Greetings from the officers and members of the Rotary Club of Alameda Chartered in 1920, we are Rotarians working with youth, helping our community and playing an active part in International and World Community Service. Take some time to surf our web site and learn more about our history, membership, projects, and our fine city.
If you live in the East Bay area and are interested in learning more about Rotary, please contact us at 510-865-7369. We would be pleased to talk to you about Rotary and how you, too, may become a member of this International service organization. Please visit us often. Our club is a member of District 5170 and you can visit their web site by https://www.rotarydistrict5170.org/. All Rotary Clubs belong to Rotary International.
Interested in Joining Alameda Rotary?
When you join Rotary you become part of a network of 1.2M people in over 200 countries all with the same Rotary spirit of service above self while building lasting relationships locally, nationally, and internationally. Do you want to connect with members of your community while making a meaningful difference here in Alameda? Contact President Jeff Cambra at (510) 865-7369 or email to rotaryclubofalameda@gmail.com to learn more about how you can be a part of the Rotary Club of Alameda’s fellowship network for less than $50 per month.
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