Bellaire/Southwest Rotarians kicked off a season of holiday sharing with a Veterans’ Salute Blood Drive at Community National Bank, followed by Thanksgiving cards and visits to shut-ins at Bellaire’s Com-for-Care nursing home and turkey dinner for patients and staff at The Gathering Place rehabilitative facility for sufferers of disabling mental illness.
The group’s Christmas SHARE projects include holiday gifts and cards for its “adopted” nursing home and a Christmas meal for the Gathering Place.
“The holiday season allows us to put a very personal face on sharing with those who otherwise would find themselves in isolating circumstances at this time of year,” Rotary Club Spokesperson Nan Wagoner said.
The service group is partnering with the Willow Water Hole Conservancy District to fund the Gathering Place dinners as part of this year’s Rotary International theme: Building Communities, Bridging Continents.
“Reaching out to other local volunteer groups helps us recapture a traditional sense of community neighborliness and cooperation,” Club President Ralph Rieger said.
More than 80 Gathering Place clients participated in the Thanksgiving meal at which they shared their poetry and music with the volunteers.
“We appreciate the opportunity to build worthwhile community alliances by coming together with the Conservancy and the Gathering Place in this way,” Rieger said.
Rotary District Governor Sunny Sharma of Fort Bend Rotary also was on hand to assist the Bellaire/Southwest Houston group in serving dinner. The Gathering Place assists mentally disabled adults in developing vocational and social skills to improve their personal lives and enhance chances of successful employment.
For more information about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities at the rehabilitation center, visit http://www.gplace.org.
Rotary’s Generations Project combines personal visits with cards and small gifts for nursing home residents throughout the year.