The Rotary Club of Asheville South serves children and families right here in our community as well as internationally.
We are known for our active volunteer efforts both locally and overseas. We have regular commitments at the Calvary Episcopal Church Food Pantry each month and a quarterly litter pick-up on our adopted Long Shoals Road. We also do regular pop-up projects ranging from landscaping to sandwich delivery for the homeless.
Here are a few of the projects our club has participated in over the last few years:
Summer Meals Program – Enka District
Volunteers from our club handed out food bags to the children of Hilltop Trailer Park in a 10-week Summer Meal Program from Buncombe County Schools. Each week we provided 2 volunteers to run the distribution site. Family members were encouraged to attend and this turned into a great family project!
Without our in-person meetings, we decided to keep supporting our local café who provided our breakfast and ask them to make sandwiches that we delivered to the YMCA’s Summer Food Pantry and Homeward Bound, a local charity that supports the homeless in Asheville. We felt it was important to help local businesses and be able to alleviate food insecurity in our area. WIN-WIN!
Long Shoals Road Cleanup
Our club, through the NCDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program, adopted a section of NC 146 (known as Long Shoals Road) From the intersection at Biltmore Park westbound to the intersection of NC 191, our club members maintain just over 1.5 miles of highway. Each quarter we meet and split into teams as we pick up litter and divide it into trash or recyclable waste for the DOT to collect. This is our long-term commitment to our local community and has also become a great way to meet outdoors during COVID-19 times.
Calvary Episcopal Church Food Pantry
“One in six face hunger, five in six can help.” Our members want to be part of the solution to help those experiencing food insecurity in our area. Once a month, our volunteers meet at Calvary Episcopal Church Food Pantry in Fletcher and help distribute food to over 100 families. We were also proud to be able to donate $2000 to the pantry in the Spring of 2020 to help with the increased demand due to COVID-19.
We teamed up with the wonderful folks at the Shiloh Community to weed, tidy, and mulch their community garden and orchard area. With the coronavirus keeping most of their own neighborhood volunteers indoors, our members were out in force to lend a hand to maintain their gardens working alongside Shiloh’s garden leadership team.
We also had a great turn out to weed and mulch at Estes Elementary School right here on our doorstep. We cleaned up the front and rear parking lots, spread mulch, and made the school grounds look beautiful again.
Estes Warm Winter Wishes (Estes Family Resource Center)
Another annual project our members participate in is the Warm Winter Wishes at Estes Elementary School. We pledge to purchase gifts for families in our area to make sure the children enjoy the holiday season. The families submit their children’s wish lists and our club raises money and has a fun shopping trip to make sure no child is left disappointed.
Other pop-up events in conjunction with the Estes Family Resource Center include a ‘Socks and Underwear’ drive for K-4 students and a collection of scarves, gloves, and hats in the winter months.
Dental & Medical Brigade to Honduras
Dental & Medical Brigade to Honduras
In partnership with the Rotary Club of Asheville and the Rotary Club of Copán Ruinas, members of our club traveled to Honduras to assist in the annual Dental and Medical Brigade in Honduras. A week-long trip that sees our local Rotary dentists and ophthalmologists and a team of volunteers provide much-needed services in a rural community. As well as working at the site, our members also traveled around several schools giving out free toothbrushes and trying to educate the locals on the importance of looking after their teeth. A partnership with Seed Programs International also saw our members visit local farms to take supplies of seeds.
Backpack to the Future
For the last 3 years, our club has hosted a Back-to-School backpack drive.
Each new school year, many families struggle to provide their children with the necessary school supplies. From the start, these children are at a disadvantage, both socially and economically. We believe that a student’s focus should be on attending school and learning – not on whether they have the necessary tools for success. Our club partners with United Way of Asheville & Buncombe and donates backpacks each August. In 2020 we donated 73 fully stocked backpacks for students in our community!
Blue Ridge Honor Flight
Honor Air was founded by Rotarians to send World War II veterans to Washington, DC to see the WWII Memorial as well as other monuments in the area. Our club, along with several others in Western North Carolina sponsored eight different trips to DC. Asheville South was able to send 24 veterans to the Memorial during this project. Rotarians were able to participate by serving as guardians during these one-day trips. Guardians’ responsibilities consisted of meeting the needs and wishes of the veterans. Rotarians met with the veteran's families prior to the trip to go over the itinerary, provided transportation to and from the Asheville Airport, and traveled with the veterans to ensure a successful and safe trip. While in DC veterans were able to talk to our local elected representatives and participate in an escorted tour of a variety of Memorials. While waiting in the DC Airport for our return flights, the DC chapter of the USO, entertained the veterans with dancing and music from their era. Upon arrival back in Asheville, they were greeted by hundreds of family and well-wishers while a local band played patriotic music as they came off the plane. The tears flowed freely on those days. This program was very popular with the veterans and incredibly rewarding for our Rotarians.
Rotarians Against Hunger
We are excited to host this event, which helps build healthier communities by addressing the issues of food insecurity in our community and around the world. The packaged meals are distributed through the MANNA FoodBank distribution network in WNC. As of 2015, Rotarians Against Hunger has recruited over 3,000 volunteers, raised $375,000 to combat hunger, and has prepared and shipped over 1.3 million meals. For more information, please see http://www.rotariansagainsthunger.org/.
other past projects
Dictionaries – donated and delivered more than 750 dictionaries to Estes
Lake Julian – installed stairs and landscaped fishing pier, landscaping
Contributed to Wheelchair fund
Contributed to CART
Contributed to Polio Plus
Contributed to the Rotary Foundation
Contributed to eyeglass program
Habitat for Humanity Home Building
MANNA Foodbank Meal Packing
Nicaragua projects through interact club
Salvation Army Bell Ringing
Junior Achievement at Estes Elementary
Seed Programs International
Purchased Lightning Detectors for SBRAA
Christ School’s Rotary Interact Club is sponsored by Rotary Club Asheville South. Now in its second year, the club is the largest at Christ School, with 24 members. It is also the most active club.
Students originally joined the club for a variety of reasons: their father is a Rotarian, they believe in the mission of Rotary International, they want to do service as part of a club, and they are attracted to international service opportunities.
Our members and faculty advisor, Mrs. Mahoney, have participated in several service projects this year and gone on a couple of service trips. The projects include the Habitat Student Build, a house in Swannanoa sponsored by Christ School and Asheville Christian Academy, Rotarians Against Hunger, and MLK Day of Service in Asheville.
Ten Interact members went on the Louisiana service trip and four members went to Nicaragua for Spring Break.
In April, the new members of Interact were officially inducted and received a Rotary pin from a Rotarian. The students wear their pins on their blazers to the weekly chapel at Christ School – they are proud to be young Rotarians.
The Christ School Rotary Interact Club has contributed almost 700 hours of service! We look forward to participating in the pancake breakfast and a joint Habitat day with our sponsors from the Rotary Club of South Asheville.