In the Fall of 2020, Vergennes Rotary Members Scott Gaines and Fr. Yvon Royer started an application for a Rotary International Global Grant with support from District 7850.
Members of the St. Peter’s and St. Ambrose Catholic Church Migrant Outreach team, of which Fr. Royer is Pastor, connected with some leaders of the Addison Allies, a group that supports our local migrant workers. This contact led to the committee’s getting to know members of the San Jose Monteverde Community, Mexico, who are presently working on farms in the Addison County.
As a starting point, they asked the migrant workers what theirs and their home communities’ greatest needs were. These migrant workers shared that water was their biggest need at home.
As it turns out, those living in San Jose Monteverde head out at 3:30 am to attempt to collect water for their daily needs. Presently there is an insufficient amount of water to meet everyone’s needs, and none of the water is clean, which is causing adverse health effects.  Recognizing the importance of this situation, Fr. Royer, a Vergennes Rotarian, then brought this water project idea to the Vergennes Rotary members where it was warmly embraced and accepted, and the process began.
When applying for the grant, Rotary International requires that the grant-funded project be connected to a local Rotary club.  The Vergennes Rotary Club contacted the Rotary Club in San Jose Monteverde to speak about the water project, get to know the community and move the project forward.
The Vergennes Rotary Club and the local Rotary club in San Jose Monteverde have partnered with Healing Waters International, an organization whose mission is to end the global water crisis by helping communities have access to sufficient and clean water.
Both Royer and Gaines have faced challenges which include a language barrier, the pandemic, and time differences. But here’s the good news: the Vergennes Rotary Club, the little Club that said “yes we can make a difference!” has been awarded a USD 74,000 Global Grant for this project.  The club is excited to be able to work with Rotarians near and far to bring clean water to our brothers and sisters south of the border. This is another example that Rotarians in Action can help change the lives of others.
My (DG Mike…again) thanks to Scott Gaines for providing the information for this article.
So many of our clubs are doing exciting projects and tapping into the financial power of Foundation Grants.  Our giving to the ANNUAL SHARE FUND is what creates this opportunity for doing good every year.  50 % of what was given by Rotarians in our District in 2018-2019 has now come back to us and will be the basis for our response to all the grant applications we receive by April 29, 2022.
I have had the honor of welcoming individuals into the Paul Harris Society during my visits to our clubs.  The Paul Harris Society recognizes Rotary members and friends of The Rotary Foundation who elect to contribute $1,000 or more each year to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus Fund, or approved global grants.  On one such visit, one new PHS member commented that using Rotary Direct made her giving so easy.  If you haven’t considered using Rotary Direct for your planned giving, I invite you to check it out and see if it is right for you.  Here’s the link:
Thanks for all you do in support of our Rotary Foundation.
DG Mike