The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club's members have a history of engagement in the community, in new and innovative ways. Here are some of our current major projects. We are always looking to find out about new and unmet needs in Voorhees, South Jersey and the world, in order to Serve to Change Lives.

Cathedral Kitchen

graduates

For over 10 years the Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club has supported Cathedral Kitchen in Camden, NJ. CK is much more than a "soup kitchen". In addition to feeding people in need, CK coordinates or supplies other needed social services. CK also runs a Culinary Arts Institute, which provides otherwise disadvantaged persons with first-class training in the culinary arts. Each year, the Institute graduates members from its Culinary Arts and its Baking programs. Graduates go on to successful careers as chefs and restaurant owners.
 
The Club gives awards to exceptional graduates of the Institute. Its members also volunteer with CK to help feed its client population.
Hope Church Food Pantry Partnership- providing Essential Personal Care Products to persons in need

The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club has launched the Essential Products Initiative, in partnership with the Hope Church Pantry at the Meeting Place. Its goal and mission is to help meet a continuing demand by people in need of essential personal care products, such as diapers, wipes, feminine hygiene products and adult incontinence products. These necessities are less available to food pantries than the variety of food products commonly supplied by area food banks.
According to Erica DePalma, Director of the Hope Church Food Pantry at the Meeting Place, the number of people that The Pantry is serving has exploded in the last 18 months.  In September alone the Pantry delivered food to over 440 families. Of those families, greater than 80 percent need and ask for essential personal care products.  The Pantry cannot meet that need with the funds and donations available.
Making these products available to families in need is not just a matter of quality of life. It also promotes family stability. The Camden County Prosecutor uncovered a close link between a lack of diapers and domestic abuse.
These products are available in only limited quantities from area food banks. The Pantry and the Rotary Club are working to expand sources of supply, and grants and donations to support this necessary initiative.
The Hope Church Pantry has been in existence for 12 years and has grown from a closet in the church to a stand-alone building on the church property in Voorhees, at the corner of Cooper Road and Centennial Blvd. The Pantry serves low-income people regardless of race, gender or religious affiliation in Voorhees and the surrounding areas.
The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club has been an active presence in Voorhees since 2005 and has been recognized locally, regionally and by Rotary International for its efforts, engagement and commitment to helping others.  VBRC volunteers help pack and distribute items from The Pantry and engage in a lot of other projects. Through volunteerism, donations and grants, we hope to support this project and others to improve the quality of life for those in need.
Directing traffic
Loading cars
Traffic coming in
 
Josh the Otter Water Safety Project
JTO Book CoverAccidental drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 -4 and the second cause for children under age 14.  For the past 10 years ago, we have supported the Josh the Otter project, whose mission is to promote child water safety and drowning prevention.
 
It began with a tragedy. Joshua Collingsworth was only 2 ½ years old when he drowned in the family pool. Blake and Kathy Collingsworth, Josh’s parents, were Rotarians and decided that his death would not be in vain. Their research showed that the most effective way to prevent drowning was first, to teach young children not to near the water without an adult, and secondly to teach children to float and swim.
 
This became our mission as well: to prevent these avoidable tragedies and save young lives. We have partnered with the four elementary schools of the Voorhees school district. Over the past 10 years we have purchased about 5000 “Josh the Baby Otter books” which we not only distribute to kindergarten children, but also read the story to them in class. The book explains, in pictures and simple language, the  importance of water safety, including learning to float and swim and not going near the water without an adult
 
More recently, we have worked with an area swim school to provide basic swim/float lessons and funded scholarships for these lessons to needy children.
Thanks to our many sponsors and benefactors including our members, Virtua Hospital, Investors Bank,  Roma Bank and  Patient First. 
Class at Osage Elementary
Bear Paddle swim lessons
Josh the Otter and Alan Stein
For the Kids nutrition program
child with apple in schoolIn 2016, the Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club identified an unmet need in local schools: kids were hungry by late morning and their education and in-class experience suffered. The Club supplies area schools with healthy snacks in the form of nutritious energy bars which cooperating teachers hand out.
 
The club's "For the Kids Fund" is dedicated to supporting Voorhees children who do not have enough to eat while at school. The program partners with local and regional corporate donors to make money and food supplies available to Voorhees school teachers to use at their discretion to provide healthy snacks to children in their classrooms that may be in need.
The project has demonstrated that a seemingly small thing like a healthy snack at school has an out-sized impact on the health and learning ability of children. Snacks are especially crucial for children because they are still growing, and children need to refuel throughout the day to maintain energy and focus. By focusing on healthy snacks, we also hope to encourage children to adopt a lifelong healthy eating habit that can prevent costly and disabling diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House in Camden, NJ provides a safe, welcoming place adjacent to Cooper Hospital for families with sick children to stay nearby during their children's hospital stay. About 6 times per year, our members come to the Ronald McDonald House with donated food to prepare and serve meals for the residents. During the pandemic, we funded meals delivered by Cathedral Kitchen Cafe.
Recently, we received this letter from RMH:
November 4th, 2021
Dear Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club,

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for providing an amazing dinner donation for our families yesterday, November 3rd. As we reflect on the kindness and generosity you shared with our families through your support of our “Family Meals” program, we feel lucky that you chose our house as the place for your service. Our families absolutely love having volunteers back in the House, and I hope your group had fun too! Your chicken, potatoes, vegetables, pasta, and more were such a nice treat for the families staying here! It was a great way to kick off November meals! Thank you for what you do!

Being away from family and home due to pediatric illnesses like Cancer and Arthrogryposis is a burden our families carry, but with your help, we are able to cheer them up, one thoughtful donation at a time. Our mission is to help in a difficult time by offering a warm and supportive environment, regardless of family economic status. When a family needs to travel to receive specialized medical care for their child, they need a place to stay, whether for days, weeks or even months. They have left the comfort and security of their own home to seek medical help. We cannot take away the pain of surgery or make medicine taste better, but we can help families be together for hugs and kisses.

When we opened the doors in 1983, we could only imagine that one day our House would have been able to accommodate more than 25,000 families from around the world. Hundreds more are helped each day by our Family Room program in 11 locations across South Jersey. Your donation will continue to make life easier for so many families! You can stay up-to-date on our house events by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@rmhsnj) or our website at www.rmhsnj.org.

Thank you!

Jill Clement
Ronald McDonald House SNJ
Family Services Associate
 
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Other Projects and Activities
Our international efforts include support of the Rotary International Foundation, which manages and supports humanitarian efforts worldwide including its Polio Plus program to eradicate polio, clean water projects in developing countries and other similar efforts
 
Locally, members of the Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club are active in:
 
  • Providing food baskets and gift certificates to our neighbors in need during the holidays.
  • Sponsoring high school students to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Program each year.
  • Providing donations to other non-profits in the tri-county area.
  • Awarding college scholarship money to local high school students.
  • Providing dictionaries to elementary students in Voorhees.
  • Volunteering at Voorhees Township community events.
  • Raising funds for national and international relief efforts for victims of devastating natural disasters.
  • Sponsoring and coordinating the Voorhees Township Spring Egg Hunt which is attended by over 200 children annually

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