Toothaches are not just a pain, they keep kids out of school and negatively impact nutrition, which can hold a person back for a lifetime. For over 20 years, our club has sent a team of dentists to remote villages to provide dental care to kids who may have never seen a dentist before (and may never see one again). Dentists from Rotary Clubs across the country, as well as non-Rotarian dentists, coordinate with local Rotary Clubs in Central and South America to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars of free dental care every year, but what they bring home is valuable, too - a deeper understanding of another culture and memories of smiling kids and grateful parents. Please enjoy a few informative slides about the trip to Honduras this last September.
Youth & Literacy
Our Youth and Literacy Committee is currently working on a number of projects. We recently made a 5 year commitment to partner with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Denver. Statewide, the Colorado Imagination Library Program Bill, signed by Governor Polis in 2020, directs the State to help support local communities that enroll. The Denver Cherry Creek Rotary Jim Hoops Scholarship is awarded annually to select graduating seniors from East or Manual High Schools who are enrolling in a vocational, 2 or 4 year college or university as full-time students. We donate books weekly to Denver elementary school libraries to help improve youth literacy. Our Student Essay Contest identifies and supports talented young writers who present winning essays at our annual event.
Committee members are actively involved with RYLA/YRYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awakening/Young RYLA). Whether a natural-born leader who wants to sharpen their skills or a shy young person with potential who needs to break out of their shell, RYLA & YRYLA puts middle and high school students on track for a successful future. Our club works with teachers to identify those who can benefit from leadership training and provides funds to send 9-10 students every year to camp in beautiful Estes Park. Interviewing the students personally is one of the most rewarding activities we do all year.
Mental Health & Homelessness
Lifting people from hopelessness requires that they be given a safe place to sleep and healthy food - and also a bit of beauty. Once a month we set up the beds and provide dinner and breakfast - and maybe a few pretty earrings or soft scarves - to the women seeking help through the Women's Homeless Initiative.