• Winner: WINNER
  • Date: 1/30/2015
  • Rotary Year: 2014-2015
  • Award Category: World Community Service (discontinued)
  • Club NameBlacksburg
  • Member First NameJamie Dunn
  • Address: 
    P.O. Box 770
    Blacksburg, VA 24060
    United States View on Map
  • Email: jdunn@hjmcpa.com
  • Brief Description: 
    Our club has been working to establish relations with a club in Mirebalais, HAITI and to write a collaborative grant together. In effort to overcome language barriers and to meet our partners face to face, a local delegation traveled to Haiti in the spring of 2014. The area we visited was in the Central Plateau of Haiti: the towns of Mirebalais and Cange. Our group, with the help of the Lions Club, was able to take 800 pairs of eyeglasses to the villages of Cange and Ti Peligre and work cooperatively with local students to fit glasses for community residents. During this process, we were able to share goodwill, help a population of citizens living there with their vision, and meet Rotarians, church and community members. 200 pairs of the glasses were prescription glasses for children and were later fitted by an ophthalmologist visiting the area.
    After meeting with local educators, visiting schools, churches and several communities, we also met with Mirebalais Rotarians and talked about the feasibility of writing a grant to provide much needed books to a group of 10 local schools. It was agreed that we would move forward and in the beginning of the 2014-2015 club year a grant submission was made. While unsuccessful in our application, we are working to resubmit a grant that better describes the sustainability of the project and we have added additional components in keeping with the review board requests. Through this process, we are learning about international partnerships and the Rotary Future Vision grant system.
  • Participation of Club Members: 
    The World Community Service Committees from two clubs (Rotary Club of Montgomery County and Rotary Club of Blacksburg) were involved in this endeavor-approximately 5% of membership.

    Both clubs have been generous in pledging funds for the project and this represents a higher participation but the exact percentage is unknown. $3,000 from the Rotary Club of Blacksburg and $7000 from the Rotary Club of Montgomery County were allocated to the project.

    The travel delegation consisted of two Rotary members and one interact member from Rotary Club of Blacksburg and one Rotary member from the Rotary Club of Montgomery County.
  • Resulting Benefits: 
    Three Rotarians and an Interactor traveled to Haiti and visited many villages. We worked alongside area youth to hold two eyeglass clinics and fitted over 300 individuals with appropriate reading glasses. We interacted with the Lions Club’s eyeglass distribution center and learned about their work and scope of services. Our understanding of conditions in the Central Plateau of Haiti is now much greater and our knowledge of conditions and challenges that the schools face is better known. Our experiences were shared with the Rotary Club of Montgomery County in a presentation describing our trip and the knowledge that was obtained.

    A partnership was established between the Rotary Clubs of Blacksburg and Montgomery County and the Rotary Club of Mirebalais in Haiti. A collaborative Global Grant was submitted to provide books to 10 schools in this Haitian district. While our first attempt was not successful, we still have $10,000 in funds earmarked and will resubmit the grant with our now greater knowledge of what The Rotary Foundation requires for the new Global Grants.