Posted by Sandra Froese

When local non-profits in McKinney described mounting needs at a time when their scheduled fund-raising activities were cancelled due to the coronavirus quarantine, Collin County Rotary Club, stepped up.

Three sources of funds were used to benefit local and global projects: Collin County Rotary Club member donations, Striker Construction of McKinney, and funds generated by the flag-lease program  of McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club. The Collin County Rotary Club members maintained three flag routes to participate in a city-wide program to sell flag leases to business and homes for a patriotic display. 

Five local non-profits were awarded funds to apply to immediate needs that they identified.  The local distribution included Hugs Cafe and Greenhouse, Ruth Thompson, Executive Director; Collin County History Museum, Kristin Spalding, Executive Director; Shiloh Place, Dr. Eppy Thern, Executive Director; The Warriors Keep, John Cody Hardin, Executive Director; and Meals on Wheels of Collin County, Zella Tyson, Executive Director. 

Three global projects also benefited from donations:  End Polio Now, Guatemala Literacy Program, and the tree planting project sponsored by Heifer International.   The End Polio Now program is world-wide and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eliminate the scourge of polio in every country.  Only two countries remain that have not completed the vaccinations for every child:  Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Guatemala Literacy Project meets the "gold standard" for improving literacy rates for impoverished children in  Central America.  The  tree-planting program is supported by numerous organizations to counteract flooding and drought caused by changes in weather patterns and climate.

For a major hands-on project, the club members participated in making over 100 comfort blankets for Project Linus.  The comfort blankets are given at no charge to law enforcement and case workers who remove children from abusive situations and also to hospitals for children who are seriously ill or facing surgery.   The students from the Ovation Performance Academy were partners in making the comfort blankets.