Posted on Jan 04, 2018
Clubs are providing outstanding service with District Grants in creative ways.

Approved Grants

The 2017-18 grant cycle is well under way with grants of all types providing service and support to needy causes.  Currently grants have an estimated budget of $87,385 with $41,500 in District Designated Funds (DDF).  There is still $11,000 available for club sponsored districts grants.  Look at what clubs are doing so far to provide service above self.
Six Rotary clubs were right out of the gate including the RC of Natick with a grant to support the Natick Opioid Task Force.  Members volunteered at a town wide initiative to raise awareness and education, especially for parents, about opioid abuse.  Three populations were impacted by their grant: Adolescents: Education and prevention.  Parents: Awareness of what kids are doing.  Seniors: Education because their prescriptions can be used by kids.  The Natick RC supported the “Hidden in Plain Sight” room that educates adults on how to recognize where drugs may be hidden in a seemingly innocent room. 
The RC of Blackstone Valley jumped in to provide warm coats to children from newborns to age 18 years old.  They worked with local food banks to identify recipients and up to 170 coats, hats and mittens were handed out to children in need.
The RC of Nashoba Valley enhanced the services of the Cultivate Care Farms which treats addiction disorders using farm-based therapy.  A dozen Rotary volunteers constructed a barn and doubled the size of the paddock area.  This enables Cultivate to hold 2 therapeutic sessions simultaneously which means they can serve 15 more clients per week or potentially 750 more clients per year.
The RC of Neponset Valley is supporting the Comfort Zone Camp which is a bereavement organization that transforms the lives of children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver.
The RC of Brookline is collaborating with the Brookline Teen Center.  Brookline teens congregate, socialize and participate in developing a makerspace where they can grow their problem-solving skills along with collaborating on projects involving science and technology.  The purpose of the grant is to purchase tools and equipment enabling the students to bring their ideas to life.
The RC of Bedford is sponsoring a Meals For Kids packaging grant that will provide over 50,000 meals that will benefit 250 students all year.  The project will package rice-based nutritional meals destined for school meal programs in some of the poorest developing countries.  Through the meal programs, children will attend school, have enough energy to learn and hopefully through their education, break the cycle of poverty.
District Sponsored District Grant
A District Sponsored District Grant for Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico is underway.  The District has allocated $25,000 for a grant to this multi-club project which involves collaboration with two other Rotary Districts, D7210 in New York and D700 in Puerto Rico.  The Rotary Club of Moca in Puerto Rico will distribute the target relief aid of $50,000 to the community of Moca in NW Puerto Rico, one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Maria.
The District Hurricane Relief Committee will recruit qualified and non-qualified clubs in the District, including Interact and Rotaract Clubs, to conduct collection drives in their communities and send in cash for this relief effort. It is expected that up to 20 clubs will participate and will collect at least $25,000 in cash and an unspecified number of toys.  If your club has already done a grant this year you can still participate in this grant.
This project will have two Areas of Focus.
Economic and community development - restoration of protection from the elements at homes and businesses
Disease prevention and treatment - Vaccination drive starting in January
Other grants in the works  
Five other clubs are working on grants;
RC of Sturbridge- Community Food Collaborative to provide food for the St. Paul Food Pantry
RC of The Brookfields- Angels and Backpack Food Project
RC of Shrewsbury-purchase new bedroom dressers for Abby’s house, a woman’s shelter that provides safe affordable, emergency shelter to homeless, low income and victims of domestic violence.
RC of Lowell- fund and put together "Mother's Day Bags" for homeless women to give them a number of essential items to improve their quality of life, sense of self-worth and take care of their families.
RC of Northborough- support a weekend backpack program to provide two breakfasts, two lunches and snacks for children who might otherwise have little or nothing to eat.
If you need help with ideas or want to run an idea by the grants committee, feel free to get in touch with Michelle Gasbarro, District Grant Subcommittee Chair, at or 978-514-2556 or Sanjay Deshpande, District Rotary Foundation Chair, at