Woodstock Rotary triples gifts to Alliance for Shelter

The Woodstock Rotary has announced it recently donated items to the Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter, which assists families and individuals who previously were sleeping in emergency shelters, cars, abandoned buildings or on the street. Others sponsored by a church or temporary funding source were staying in a motel room, many fleeing domestic violence.

The shelter’s new Rapid Re-House Program is for people who are literally homeless and lack the means or support to obtain housing on their own. Applicants are carefully screened to be sure they can be helped effectively and are willing to learn to help themselves.

As SAS moved families and individuals into housing, the Rotary Club of Woodstock helped households get off to a good start by providing Welcome Packages of home necessities. According to a press release from the Rotary Club, club President Jeremy McCleary said packages contained “blankets, pillows, tooth paste, cleaning supplies and such.” To fund the project, the club applied for and won a grant from Rotary District 7570.

The shelter had requested baskets for 25 of the newly formed households of 15 families and 10 individuals. Through requests, deep discounts and the generosity of business people in the community, Rotarians were able to provide two boxes plus a basket for each recipient. The expanded gift assortment included toiletries, tissue products, first aid material, bed sheets, trash cans, mops, kitchen supplies and more.

Mercury Paper of Strasburg donated paper products. Kitchen items came from Rubbermaid, through a relationship with United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley. Dollar General was most generous and the Woodstock Lions Club donated their signature brooms. The Moose Club of Woodstock provided the location where the packages were assembled by Rotarians and student members of the Rotary’s Interact Club at Massanutten Military Academy. Boxes in which the gifts were packed were provided by Lambert’s Moving and Storage.

The press release quoted McCleary saying “the project was typical of Rotary’s response to requests from the community for assistance, service or financial help.”

The next Rotary undertaking is Project Warmth, where warm coats are provided to children and the elderly in need in Shenandoah County before winter weather begins.

The Rotary Club of Woodstock meets at 12:05 p.m. Wednesdays at the Moose Lodge in Woodstock. Rotarians from any club in the world are welcome to attend. Rotary membership is by invitation only.

Anyone interested in membership should contact a member of the Woodstock Rotary Club. Members are business people and professionals who live or work in the Woodstock area and are willing to give of their time and energy in the spirit of service above self.