Community Service Opportunities

Come join District 5495 Rotaract members as they volunteer at the Hot Chocolate Race held in Phoenix, an event that raises money for St Jude Children's Research Hospital.
There are two possible days you can volunteer: Friday 12/10 (Expo) or Sunday 12/12 (Race day).
On Friday, Dec. 10, there is the Hot Chocolate Expo, so you may be able to get some hot chocolate while volunteering. There will be vendors set up that people can go explore, and you will be helping with anything that needs to be done around the area.
For the Expo event, sign up here!

The Dec. 10 event will be held 2-6 p.m. at Phoenix Convention Center, South Building – Ballroom, 100 N 3rd St, Phoenix.
Hot Chocolate Run - Race Day

Join Rotaract on Sunday, Dec. 12 for race day! You will be handing out water bottles and doing other tasks to keep the race running smoothly.
If Rotaract and Rotary can provide 15 or more volunteers, race organizers will give us a donation to say thank you.
For the Race Day event, Sign up here!

The Rotary Club of Phoenix West invites Rotarians and clubs throughout District 5495 to join them in a holiday project to benefit families living in the Osborn School District in Phoenix.

The club is encouraging cash contributions or donations of $25 gift cards from Safeway, Fry’s or Walmart. The deadline to provide the gift cards is Nov. 30.

Make checks payable to The Phoenix West Rotary Foundation and mail to Treasurer David Caplan’s attention at P.O. Box 35010, Phoenix, 85069 or send him any $25 gift cards you have purchased from Safeway Walmart or Frys. 

Donations may also be made via Vimeo or Zelle. 

 When all contributions are received, David will make one check from the Foundation and the club will get it to the Osborn District for purchase of $25 gift cards for families in need.  The Foundation is donating $1,500, the amount used for food purchases in previous years.  The minimum suggested amount per Rotarian is $50, or an amount you feel comfortable with and/or consistent with what you’ve spent in past years for clothing and a toy. 

 This project lacks the involvement and hands-on experiences of projects pre-COVID, but food is very much in need for many Osborn families. The pandemic and resulting school closures necessitated a change of plans last year, so the club instituted the project of donating gift cards – a project that we will repeat again this year.

The club last year donated $3,825 to the district -- $1,500 from the club foundation and $1,875 in cash and $50 in gift cards from members.

Members of the Peoria North, Sun City and Valley of the Sun Passport Rotary Clubs combined for a joint club project Nov. 13 at Valley Vista Food Bank in Sun City.
Rotarians were joined in the effort by two church groups. Hundreds of Thanksgiving food boxes were prepared to provide a holiday meal for families in need. The project was organized by Peoria North Rotary Club member and Assistant Governor Lou Rotundo, and PNRC Club President Sheree Sheets.  

Submitted by Dr. Honora Norton, Rotary Club of Sun Lakes Public Image Chair

Per Sun Lakes resident, Rotary Club of Sun Lakes Rotarian Stan Kaufman, the folks at Western State Bank (Chandler Blvd. and Alma School Road) stand strong in their commitment to helping the San Tan Rotary Foundation’s work with Valley veterans and their families. 

The annual Hooked on Healing Veterans Motorcycle Ride fundraiser has been held since 2016 with the help of Chandler Community Western State Bank.  Rotarian Kaufman is a ride organizer and San Tan Rotary Foundation President.  

Over the past six rides, the San Tan Rotary Foundation has raised and been able to share almost $60,000 with the Phoenix program of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.  This program is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities.

Project Healing Waters has touched over 400 wounded veterans and their families since the program began here in the Valley in 2012 – see

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. (PHWFF) began in 2005 serving wounded military service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then, PHWFF has expanded nationwide, establishing its highly successful program in Department of Defense hospitals, Warrior Transition Units, and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and clinics.

This year’s ride held October 23rd also benefitted the “Yuletide4Heroes” program sanctioned by the Arizona Patriot Guard Riders organization.  This program is aimed at providing Holiday dinners, Christmas trees, children’s gifts, and more to more than 200 local veterans and their families – see

The 2021 Ride was presented by Western State, Bank, as well as, Rotary Club of Sun Lakes, Healing Vets, Mesa’s Desert Wind Harley-Davidson, Albertsons/Safeway and Lunde’s Peoria Volkswagen.

For more information about opportunities to volunteer, donate items to either of these programs, or participate in the 2022 ride on 03/05/22 - see or contact Stan Kaufman,  at ; for more information about the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes – see

Members of the Rotary Club of Surprise Sunset honored the many veterans who live at the Colonnade Retirement Community by putting out flags and hosting the Missing Man table for the meetings and ceremonies held there on November 11.  
The Colonnade generously allows the club to host its meetings there.
Many of their residents, in addition to  members of the Surprise Sunset club, are veterans. 
The All Veterans Memorial located on the grounds of the Prescott Courthouse was re-dedicated Sept. 28 during a ceremony featuring several members of the Prescott Sunup Rotary Club.
The Prescott Sunup Rotary Club is a partner sponsor of the memorial, and several members played a key role in its creation, first dedicated in the 1980s.
The life-sized bronze statue was sculpted by Artist Neil Logan and cast by Thumb Butte Bronze. The statue stands on a granite base made from granite rock acquired from the same quarry used to construct the Prescott Courthouse.
The names of Yavapai County servicemen who lost their lives or remain missing in action from every American conflict since World War I are etched on a plaque placed on the base.
Members of the Sunup Club provided for the landscaping surrounding the monument and remain responsible for its upkeep.
Several Rotarians in District 5495 have come together to conduct a district-wide “Week of Welcome” community service project this month to support asylum seekers and over 1,400 refugees, including 700 Afghan refugees relocating to Arizona in coming months.
The “Week of Welcome” will be conducted Oct. 23-30. Both individual Rotarians and clubs are encouraged to provide assistance in a number of ways, including donating new and gently used clean clothing, volunteering at the Welcome Center, providing books for refugee children and more.
The project was spearheaded by Past District Governor Nancy Van Pelt, a member of the Prescott Frontier Club and chair of the district’s Peacebuilders Committee; Kathy Mitchell of the Phoenix 100 Club, Judi Edmonds of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes and Diana Tacey of the Rotary Club of Gilbert.
The project team will work closely with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the organization responsible for coordinating the refugee and asylum seeker arrivals into Arizona. All refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Phoenix have been fully vetted by both the federal government and the IRC and have been granted appropriate legal status to enter the United States.
Seven hundred Afghan refugees will be relocated in coming months. All contributions and donations will benefit the IRC and the Welcome Center in south Phoenix, where many new Americans generally spend their first few days after arriving in the country.
We encourage Clubs and Rotarians to participate in the Week of Welcome in a number of ways. Please contact Kathy Mitchell if you or your club are interested in volunteering in any of the following ways. She will get you more details on how you can help and exactly what is needed. She is in constant contact with the IRC staff to be sure their needs have not shifted.
  • Donate new or gently used clean men’s and women’s clothing. The Welcome Center currently has plenty of children's clothing and their greatest needs are noted at the top of this list.
  • Donate new car seats or booster seats for children to safely be transported.
  • Volunteer with the International Rescue Committee.
  • Serve as a family mentor for a family new to our country.
  • Provide Target, Wal-Mart or Visa gift cards for families new to America so they can go to the store with their family mentor and learn what items best suit their family.
  • Make a cash donation to the IRC.
  • Provide hygiene products to be distributed to families who have newly arrived as asylum seekers or refugees.
  • Help set up apartments for newly arriving families (weekdays).
  • Adopt a family for the holidays.
  • Teach English to newly arriving families.

Joint mega blood drive program: Rotary eClub of the Southwest USA recently partnered with the Rotary Club of Kampala Kawempe, Rotaract Club of Jinja, Rotaract Club of Kampala, and several Rotary Clubs outside of Uganda to host a community blood drive. In all, 129 blood units were collected and 149 potential donors screened, meaning 20 people were screened who were not permitted to give blood (13% deemed ineligible to donate).
Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club is inviting you to support a benefit for Special Day for Special Kids and Raising Special Kids.
For more than 30 years Special Day for Special Kids has offered a singular opportunity for families of children with disabilities to connect and relax for one day in a safe and welcoming environment. Raising Special Kids, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization provides training and consultation to help families navigate the educational, health care, and behavioral challenges they face with raising their children.
The annual Special Day for Special Kids – a FREE, much needed event where families can have fun, eat, socialize, enjoy rides, and relax in a disability free environment.  It is often difficult for families of children with disabilities to find activities and environments that are safe, cost effective, inclusive, and welcoming for their children. This is a day where children, regardless of diagnosis, are welcome with open arms to have fun and be themselves!
The club will host a breakfast to raise funds to support Special Day for Special Kids 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. The event will be held at McCormick Golf Club, 7505 E. McCormick Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ   85258.
Breakfast is free, with an ask of a minimum $100 tax free donation.
There will be speeches by special needs kids, a silent and live auction, and a cash bar.
Special Day for Special Kids is planned 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 12, 2022 at  McCormick Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale.
To attend the breakfast or volunteer at Special Day for Special Kids, contact Evie Haberer at              
The Rotary Club of Verde Valley (Cottonwood) will become the second Rotary club in Arizona to host a Prom Closet event that provides free formal attire to high school students to attend their school’s prom.
"We are excited to offer a local Prom Closet this year at Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood.  Working together with our four local Rotary Clubs, the Mingus Hope Center and the Mingus Interact Club, we are positive it will be a huge success,” said Lynette Prouty, president of the Rotary Club of the Verde Valley (Cottonwood).
The club will next spring host its first-ever Northern Arizona “mini” prom closet. Sarah Garrett is the club’s contact at Mingus High School and is the new outreach coordinator at the Hope Center and Community Family.
According to President Prouty, club activities so far have included:
  • Organizers have met at Mingus twice with the help of some Interactors to inventory what the club currently has for dresses and other items.  We need more long dresses, in a variety of sizes in more current fashion.  And we definitely need menswear.  We will also accept shoes and jewelry.
  • Sarah will be allowing students to come by the Hope Center during her hours at Mingus to pick out a dress for Homecoming (late October). She has taken the short dresses to the Hope Center.
Prom Closet Donation Drives: SAVE THE DATE!!! 
November 13 and January 29
The club will hold drive-through donation drives at Mingus High School from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. both days.  Volunteers are need from 9 a.m. to  3p.m.  West (upper) parking lot at Mingus High School on Camino Real side.
Prom Closet at Mingus - SAVE THE DATE!!!  March 5 and 12
The club is planning to open up to all Verde Valley high schools, Mingus, Camp Verde, Sedona, American Heritage.  We will need help from all Rotary Clubs to make this a success.  Please pass along to your club members.  It will be held at Mingus High School for two Saturdays prior to spring break. 
Prom at Mingus is April 2; I don't have the dates for the other schools yet.  Will be in touch with them soon.
The Peoria North Rotary Club has been successfully running Prom Closets in the Phoenix area and we are relying on their help to make this a success.  Thank you to Donnis Deever, chair of the PNRC Prom Closet.
"This Prom Closet event will be an opportunity to accomplish many wonderful things all at once! By simply donating your formal wear, you won’t only be helping a young person enjoy one of life’s memorable moments, but you’ll also be helping the environment,” said ,” said Sarah Garrett, Community and Family Outreach Coordinator at Hope Center at Mingus Union High School.
“A dress that can be worn a second or third time around means that fewer items are heading off to landfills. It truly is a win-win!”
For additional information, contact Lynette at