The Rotary Club of Summerville performs a number of local service projects each year. Some are continued from year to year, others are one-time that build better communities. The primary geographic service area is Summerville.
Just a few examples of projects in recent years include:
Literacy and Education – We give a dictionary to every 3rd grader in the Dorchester County District II school system. This project has been on-going for the last ten years – averaging 1,200 dictionaries per school year. We provide scholarships totaling $6,000 annually for outstanding graduating high school students to attend college or technical school. We provided book bags filled with school supplies to students at Beech Hill Elementary School.
Hunger and Nutrition – We have also sponsored (through charitable donations) meals delivered to seniors in need by Summerville Meals on Wheels.
Families and Children – Through fundraising proceeds, we have supported Children in Crisis (Dorchester Children’s Center), which provides services and aid to children who have been abused and neglected. We also support Junior Achievement of Coastal South Carolina and their efforts to empower young people to their own economic success.
Health and Wellness – Most of the “International Service Projects” shown below are focused on health and wellness. On a local/International level, we are most proud of our Gift of Life program. We partner with a hospital and a child in a third world country and bring the child and parent to Charleston for a life saving procedure. The family is hosted by Rotarians for the duration of their stay, provided with an interpreter if necessary, and all transportation to and from doctor appointments are provided by Rotarians as well. The parent and child stay in Charleston for as long as needed for the child’s recovery. All of this is done at no expense to the family.
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE PROJECTS
As noted, we support international service projects focused on health and wellness. Two key projects are Rotary International’s initiative to eradicate polio worldwide (with Polio now confined to just 3-4 countries) and clean water programs to deliver water purification systems to areas of need. This latter project is conducted in partnership with Charleston-based Water Missions International.
Another area of focus is International Exchange and Peace and Conflict Resolution. Toward those aims, we sponsor in-bound exchange students who come to our area for a year of high school and out-bound exchange students who attend year of high school in a foreign country. All expenses (with the exception of their travel) are covered by the hosting Rotary Club and their host families. Pinewood Preparatory School generously grants a full year’s scholarship to our in-bound student.