Community Service

Meals on Wheels

MOW 01Meals on Wheels and More is one of the largest meal-delivery organizations in Central Texas, distributing 3,000 meals each business day to homebound older adults and people with disabilities. Part of the Austin community since 1972, MOW also offers the following services to our clients through our many programs: minor and major home repairs; grocery shopping assistance; a monthly supply of shelf-stable groceries; extra, daily, shelf-stable meals for the nutritionally at-risk; veteran services; problem-solving therapies; rural meal delivery; Alzheimer's respite; and pet food and pet health care for our clients’ dogs and cats.
MOW 02Today, Meals on Wheels and More provides service to nearly 5,000 persons in need with the help of more than 7,000 volunteers offering programs designed to keep our clients healthy and living independently with dignity.
Our Club in partnership with Austin University Area Rotary Club has a team of volunteers who deliver meals to others in need, this also helps loneliness, depression and stress. Each volunteer has only one day per month of meal delivery, so it is a light-duty but important service project that consists of delivering meals and food to persons who are not able to cook, due to their age, or medical condition. It takes only about 45 minutes to pick up the meals from a Meals on Wheels distribution site and deliver to homes of the needy clients.
MOW 03

Pecan Springs Elementary School

This a comprehensive project to support early literacy and youth development at a low-income elementary school in the Austin area. South Central USA Rotary E-Club since its inception has been actively involved in this project in partnership with Austin University Area Rotary Club, Austin Cosmopolitan Rotary Club and East Austin Rotary Club. This project focuses on helping low-income school children with reading and improved discipline and character building.

Approximately 95% of the students at Pecan Springs Elementary School get free lunch or subsidized lunch under Title 1 USC.

EAFK 01The E Club will continue to support the character-building program, (EAFK) in grades K-5 at Pecan Springs Elementary. EAFK is an integrated character education program that is modeled after the Rotary Four Way Test. Monthly character traits are taught and students who best display these traits are recognized at awards assemblies. U EAFK creatively teaches and encourages students to become civil, service-oriented people during their most formative years.

We have built an outdoor learning center to provide a unique, learning experience for these young students.

EAFK 03Suresh Pahwa and Fred Hansen assembling tables
EAFK 04The Outdoor Learning Center

We have provided new bilingual culturally appropriate board books for young children through Reading Is Fundamental program of BookSpring. This program allows every child to take home two books every year. In addition, the school library will receive 550 books to be lent to students during break periods such as Christmas and Easter.

EAFK 05EarlyAct First Knight knighting ceremony

The project supports the Rotary Foundation’s Area of Focus of Basic Literacy and the Rotary International’s Youth Services Avenue of Service.

How Can YOU Get Involved?

Members of the E-Club, Downtown Austin and the University Area RC jointly sponsor and attend monthly knighting ceremonies at the school, mentoring and reading to the younger students, helping 4th graders with writing skills, Reading is Fundamental presentations, assist the service club aspect of EAFK.  Rotarians accompany the Student Service Club on their monthly service projects and they practice “Service Above Self”.


Youth Services


RYLA 01Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a 6-day resident camp held at the LCRA facility, McKinney Roughs Nature Preserve, Bastrop, Texas. It is an intensive training program that brings together youth and young adults to further develop character and leadership skills and learn about Rotary. In our District, RYLA is a life-changing experience, sponsored by local Rotary clubs for incoming 11th or 12th grade students of our district. RYLA provides the campers with an opportunity to exchange ideas, opinions, and beliefs with other campers, in a relaxed, retreat style setting.
RYLA 02At camp, everyone is involved, encouraged to tear down the walls by trying new things and exploring new roles. The campers develop new friendships and become more effective role models, team players, and leaders.
RYLA 03The days at the camp are non-stop with team-building activities, river rafting, ropes course, RYLA Olympics, and community service projects.
RYLA 04Evenings highlight social activities (Talent show, camp night hikes…) and end of the day always wrap-ups with team bonding with brother and sister cabins.
RYLA 05Each camper’s teamwork, communication, and consensus building skills develop as each team and the brother and sister cabins work together to face the week’s challenges.
RYLA 06Camp is always memorable; the unique qualities of each camper makes all the difference in the type of memories each camper takes home.

This year, the camp will be held during June 28 – July 3rd time period.  RYLA is an important part of our Club’s Youth Services program.  Our members will serve as Program Director and Medical Director, will assist with registration.

How Can You Participate?

We currently need drivers to take campers home after camp on July 3rd.  We also may need servers for one of the many meals prepared by the RYLA staff and assist in doing dishes and cleaning up after the meal.  The Rotarian volunteers serve over 2,500 meals to campers, counselors and staff during the camp.  Because of the volunteers, the District is able to keep the cost of the camp to a reasonable rate and allow more Rotary Clubs to participate.  Come Down and See What Everyone is Raving About!!!

International Service

Adopt a Clinic in Guatemala

The Project.
Tricia Johnson made a trip to Guatemala in April 2016 and the Rotary and UbF Team she was on identified a clinic, La Parroquia of La Zona Reina, that could use our help. This a potential project for the E-Club and is being supported by other Rotary Clubs. The Corpus Christ Evening Club is leading the project and other clubs in addition to the E-Club are contributing funds to the cause. The project is being funded through a District Grant to purchase much needed equipment for this clinic.
Guatemala 1
Background Information:
The clinic is currently being run by a Cuban doctor, nurses and a overall staff of approximately 20 people. The clinic operates in a remote area but serves an approximate population of 20,000 residents. The local municipality is working to build additional clinics for this area; however, the immediate need for equipment is the most pressing. A list of the equipment is available and will be provided upon request. In general, the list is comprised of basic medical equipment, software, projector, printer/scanner, generator, hospital beds and ambulance equipment. This clinic is currently supported by one ambulance.
Guatemala 2
The Rotary E-Club of 5870 is working with the Corpus Christi Evening Rotary Club, other Rotary Clubs and District 5930 to support the project financially and volunteering.Guatemala 3


Rotaplast  International, Inc. is committed to helping children and families worldwide by eliminating the burden of cleft lip and/or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. Working with local professionals, Rotarians, and other organizations.

Two members of our Club joined Rotarians and other volunteers as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide free reconstructive surgery and ancillary treatment to Faridabad India during November and December 2015.  The team included plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, OR nurses, pediatricians, orthodontists and a PACU nurse.

The host hospital was Sarvodaya Hospital in Faridabad, India.  About 100 patients came for surgery, but some of them had to be turned away for a variety of reasons.

Rotaplast 01The first patient to go through the surgery was Yashika, 3 months old. Her cleft lip and palate was possibly due to lack of pre-natal nutrition, as clefts do not run in her family, and Yashika’s mom suffers herself from anemia. Mom is 21 years old – married at the age of 19. The family, who lives about 50km away, saw the advertisement in the newspaper. The young mother was very fearful when her daughter was taken from her - she cried for two reasons – the first was that her baby had been crying and was hungry and she could not feed her or she could not have surgery, but mostly she was so fearful that something might go wrong in surgery.

Yashika was in the good care of the Rotaplast OR Team, the first of many miracles that happened was performed
Yashika before and after surgery
Rotaplast 02This is 18-year-old Naina. She had an Uvuloplasty to help with her speech. Nick named by the Recreation Therapists, as ‘smiley-girl’, she was mostly worried about getting a written excuse for missing school!!!!
Rotaplast 03Another patient was beautiful 3.5-year-old Poonam. She is the youngest of 4 siblings. Her father is a farmer. They live in the state of Madhya Pradesh, about a one day’s train ride from here. Several years ago her father was in New Delhi visiting relatives – a rare trip – when he saw a poster advertising free cleft lip surgery. Poonam suffered from a bi-lateral cleft lip (both sides). Her father made the contact, and surgery was performed for the lips. But she still needed her palate fixed. The family made it to the Sarvodaya Hospital and little Poonam got her much needed surgery. Now she will be able to eat properly and grow strong. And she will be better able to talk, and can go to school.
Rotaplast 04The story of Leela touched Brigitte's heart. From the first day at clinic this shy 15-year-old girl covered her face and did not want to be seen. A year ago she was helping in the kitchen on a rural farm kneading dough with a kerosene lantern overhead, when her hand hit the lantern which fell and broke on her head, dousing her face and neck with kerosene which then caught on fire. She was taken to a hospital where she was bandaged and given some medicine, but only stayed there for 15 days, so her burns where not fully addressed. Because of this she has many scars and her eye is so damaged from the burns that she cannot fully close it. She did not feel comfortable going back to school, so she stopped going, only completing 8th grade. Her father found out about the Rotaplast mission and borrowed money from a friend and boarded a train for 12 hours to get to Faridabad.
Rotaplast 05Leela went through a four hour surgery, the longest of the mission, in which the surgeons first removed the burns from her face and neck. Then took two skin grafts, one from her stomach and one from her thigh to repair the damage. After the surgery she was very happy and wants to go back to school. Leela will have a long recovery.

This mission was sponsored by Rotary Districts 7450 and 7430 with support from the Rotary E-Club of 5870, and hosted by the Rotary Club of Delhi Vasant Valley with support from the Rotary Club of Faridabad Central.  The Members of the Rotary Club of Delhi Vasant Valley were there everyday helping with registration and transportation and logistics.  They fed the team delicious Indian food every day for lunch, provided a van for transport, and helped the Rotaplast team in whatever was needed.

Rotaplast 06Brigitte worked as a Recreational Therapist, she worked with the children to keep them calm before surgery, and communicating with the family before and after the surgery.
Rotaplast 07Suresh's role was Medical Recordkeeping including registration, preparation and maintenance of charts and scheduling surgeries in coordination with the surgeons, Head-nurse and the pediatricians. Suresh was assisted by local Rotarians in the registration process.

When Rotary Clubs and Districts work together, great things happen.  Without the support of Rotary Districts 7450 and 7430, the Rotary Clubs of Delhi Vasant Valley and Faridabad Central, the Rotary E-Club of 5870, Texas, all the local and international volunteers as part of the Rotaplast Team, tens of little smiles would not have been saved!

Kenya 1This is an international global grant project with the Austin Cosmopolitan Club in the lead. The program objective is to build safe and sanitary toilet facilities at primary schools in Kenya. There is also an international partner, the Rotary Club of Naivasha Kenya. To date 5 schools have been identified and the design of the toilets has been finalized so this project is ready to begin in 2016.
Kenya 2Just to recognize or the need a necessity for sanitary toilets, one school, the Mweiga Primary has 700 students jammed into wooden classrooms originally built in 1955. To qualify for the project each school’s Board of Governors would have to commit to evacuation or pumping of the pits as needed however the costs are reasonable and only necessary ever 2 years. It will cost approximately $15,000 per school to build these toilets. The project also plans for rainwater, hand washing units between the boy’s/girls toilet blocks.

Some of the Rotarians from Central Texas have made visits to Kenya in 2015 and have plans  to go again in 2016 to check on progress.  The E-Club will continue to  support this project going forward.