Blanchet Catholic School is conducting a book drive this week for our Little Free Libraries. Classrooms have book collection bins, and students will collect the books, place East Salem Rotary labels in them, and deliver them to the East Salem Community Center for distribution to the libraries. We appreciate the support of Blanchet students to support our very busy little libraries.
Four hard-working Blanchet Catholic School students showed up on Wednesday, April 21st to help weed and clean up the La Casita Community Garden in preparation for spring planting. The learning garden for children was built approximately 9 years ago by members of the Rotary Club of East Salem. Joining the students were club members Maureen Casey and Catherine Carlson, as well as Maria Lemus, a Certified Community Health Worker with Catholic Community Services. The students received a tour of the Family Resource Center located next to the garden, and heard about how the center supports the needs of low-income neighborhood families in many ways. The resources and support provided by the center strengthen families and help to build resilient communities.
On Saturday, April 17th, several of our members formerly of the Salem Sunrise Rotary Club met for a photo op to acknowledge the installation of two iron benches that their former club donated last year to the Gilbert House Children’s Museum. The museum staff handled the installation of the benches while they have been closed due to the pandemic. Club members Rhonda Prodzinski, Evan Sorce, Egon Bodtker, Bob Thomas, Bob Pool and Keith Martin met with Executive Director Alicia Bays to view the installed benches at the museum’s entrance, and the group donated two flower pots that they placed near the benches. Thanks to these club members who followed up on this great community service project to support the Gilbert House Children’s Museum!
Club members Pat Mack and Maureen Casey participated on Wednesday, April 16th in weeding the outdoor learning garden our club built at the Swegle branch of the Boys & Girls Club, along with four Blanchet students and Clarissa Sanchez, the branch director. The garden is now ready for students to begin planting. Thanks to Pat and Maureen for volunteering to help out!
Blanchet Catholic School will be conducting a book drive for our Little Free Libraries from April 19-23. Each classroom will have book collection bins, and students will be asked to donate children’s books during that time. We continue to collect books to support our busy libraries on an ongoing basis.
It is time once again for our annual spring flower basket fundraiser, which raises money to support scholarships and programs for area students. We are working again this year with Kamis Nursery, located at 7978 Portland Rd. NE. The nursery offers a wide variety of beautiful flower baskets to choose from, and we will be selling the 12-inch hanging baskets for $29.50. Customers will purchase tickets from East Salem Rotary Club members, and use those tickets to select hanging baskets at the nursery. The nursery is closed on Sundays (this information is printed on the tickets). The sale will end on June 12th, and all baskets must be picked up by June 16th. Contact any East Salem Rotarian to purchase tickets for flower baskets.
We had beautiful weather for our Market Street cleanup session on Saturday, February 6th. Club members and friends accomplished the work in about two hours. Participants found several syringes and related paraphernalia during the cleanup, safely disposing of them and ensuring that they were not left for area children and pets to encounter. Thanks especially to organizer David Leonard for providing the signs and supplies from the city, and delivering the many filled trash bags. The effort was greatly needed, and we were thanked by passing residents as we worked.
Our little free libraries are getting a lot of use, and we are very thankful for the help we’ve received in collecting donated books. Angelica Gloria, recent speaker at our club meeting and principal at St. Vincent de Paul Dual Language Immersion School, reported that 50% of their parents use their little library at least once a week, and many use the library more often than that. Our club is also signed up as a member of the Marion County Community Resource Network (CRN), and we have received several book donations as a result.
The Rotary Club of East Salem is happy to announce the addition of new club members from the Mannix Law Firm and from Blanchet Catholic School. We extend a warm East Salem Rotary welcome to these new club members on Zoom, and we look forward to getting to know all seven of them as we eventually get to move back to meeting in person!
We are replenishing books in our eight little free libraries on an ongoing basis, as the libraries are getting a lot of use. We are also in the process of ordering more new books thanks to monetary donations from several club members and the club foundation. Thanks to the work of the high school daughter of one of our new club members, we have received donations of over 1200 children’s books as a result of her social media campaign! President Kevin has presented this resourceful student with a youth merit award certificate for her initiative and service in collecting books for our little free libraries.