We don't want to just write checks. Where possible we also want to invest sweat equity in our community projects. This is the true nature of the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.
Examples of RAW's Service Above Self in Fort Collins are:
Building raised beds for a vegetable garden at Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center and providing playground maintenance.
Playground maintenance and other services at La Familia.
Little Libraries. We collect and distribute to all our libraries around Fort Collins books for children and youth.
Remediating Reading with Kindle. This experimental program is aimed at rapidly increasing reading skills.
The Ron Baker College Scholarship pays full tuition for single-parent students at Front Range Community College. We select deserving students with the help of Project Self-Sufficiency.
Grants for Vocational Education. We support high school shop classes in constructing "flat-pack" houses for completion and installation in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
- Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. RYLA is a week-long summer camp that focuses on leadership development for young people who want to learn new skills, build confidence, and have fun. We hold two camps: one for students entering 8th grade and one for students entering their junior or senior year. The application deadline is typically around mid-January with interviews held in March and final awards announced in May. This camp is free to attend and students will be honored with a RYLA Award.
For projects outside the United States, we usually have no choice but to write checks. On the plus side our grants go much further to relieve suffering, raise people up, and educate children and young adults. Our international projects include:
Rebuild schools in Nepal. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its average income per capita is one-twentieth that of the United States. 16 percent of its population suffers absolute poverty, living on less than $3.20 per day. In 2015 earthquakes destroyed or damaged 7,923 schools. RAW has rebuilt 10 schools in remote villages.
- Support Nepalese Orphans. The Nepalese people suffered from a protracted civil war between 1996 and 2006 which killed more than 17,000 and crippled many more. An earthquake in 2015 killed over 9,000 people and injured 22,000. Both disasters resulted in thousands of orphans. RAW supports two orphanages in Kathmandu with furniture, cooking equipment, structural improvements, and computers.
Rainwater Harvesting in Pune, India. Due to the drought conditions and silting in of a reservoir, wells in Varkute Village have reached low levels, minimizing the recharging of the local aquifer. RAW is supporting the de-silting of the reservoir.
- Surgical Correction Congenital Heart Defects. Children born with congenital heart defects usually live a life filled with limitations. Children from low income families in India face incredible odds. RAW is the lead club in a Rotary Global Grant to a hospital in Pune where corrective surgery averages $1,700 compared to the US average of $51,103.