President Dennis Connolly visited E.C.H.O. last week while in Fort Myers, FL and took photos of the two wheeled tractor and accessories made possible by the $12,000 District 5960 matching grant that Geoff Hollimon wrote.  Geoff was also responsible for securing contributions from several other Rotary Clubs to make the grant happen. The tractor will be a perfect fit for the small-scale farming tasks performed at E.C.H.O.
We received thank you notes from the Irondale Choir and Mounds View Festival in the Park for our contributions.
Past Presidents of the club will gather briefly after next Tuesday’s meeting to nominate someone for President-Elect Nominee.  This nominee would serve as Club President during the 2021-22 Rotary Year.
Ed James read a note from the Harvest Pack staff thanking us for our contribution and packing assistance for our recent packing event at Irondale.
Cindy Carlson invited us all to attend a planning meeting for the Gold Plate Dinner, 11AM next Tuesday at the Exchange.  She asked us to think about a project or cause for our Fund-a-Cause effort at the Gala.
Cindy also reminded us that the Community Support Center (CSC) will be having its annual “Sing for Our Neighbors” multi-choir fundraising concert on January 26th, 2 PM at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, 8211 Red Oak Drive in Mounds View.  Nine community church choirs will perform for this benefit concert.
The Club Holiday Party will be held on January 24th, 6-9PM at Michelle and Mike Caron’s home.
Cindy Carlson introduced our presenter, Lauren Lombard, Director of Development for Headwaters Relief Organization. Headwaters Relief Organization (hereafter, Headwaters) began as a grassroots volunteer relief effort after hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.  Their successes there drove a desire to expand their efforts to victims of other disasters both here and abroad.  Their international relief efforts began after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  Since then, they have responded to disasters, both natural and man-made, in the Philippines, Nepal, Greece, Jordan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Puerto Rico, St. Johns as well as numerous states in the U.S.  Relief services include providing public health, psychosocial and medical support as well as clean-up and re-building.  Headwaters works closely with other organizations to maximize their effectiveness.
As they worked hard to clean up and rebuild after disasters, Headwaters saw that there was a need to address the effect that these disasters were having on children.  This prompted the development of a series of books specifically designed to help children cope with the trauma.  These story books are carefully designed to help parents and caregivers process what has happened and provide hope for the future and build resiliency in children and families affected by disasters.
Like most non-profit organizations, Headwaters relies heavily on volunteers and donations.  Their annual Gala is one way to contribute, or you can click here to donate in other ways.
Cindy and Lauren are shown below.