Caring for kids in need

The Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation provides important services to their own community in northwestern Washington, as well as to underprivileged communities in Latin America. They reached their goal of 500 votes and doubled their donation to reach $10,000.

The Stanwood branch of WaFd Insurance Group is heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation. Collectively, the Rotary Foundation has contributed to numerous local events to give back to their community, fundraising for food drives, their regional Oktoberfest and the Stanwood Local Parade. They also built and continue to maintain Freedom Park, a playground in Camano, Washington.

Caring for kids in need 2
Past President Terrence Bedford working hard weed eating in the annual cleanup of Freedom Park that was built through the Stanwood Rotary Club.

Setting children up for success

Children’s education and general wellbeing is extremely important to the Rotary Foundation. They offer a program called Imagination Library, which sends local children a book each month until they turn five. Another program called Coats for Kids provides warm coats to children in need. Additionally, the foundation helped their local YMCA set up a swimming education program for third graders, and they’ve offered a dozen college scholarships to high schoolers.

 

“We want to help offer children a proper education in an area where such a thing is scarcer than it should be.”

—Hans Eskelsen, president of Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation

 

Internationally speaking, the foundation has a working relationship with officials in the Copán region of Honduras. Rotary Foundation members have visited personally to help set up schools. “We want to help offer children a proper education in an area where such a thing is scarcer than it should be,” said Hans Eskelsen, northwest regional manager at WaFD Insurance Group and president of the Rotary Foundation.

Caring for kids in need 3
A photo from one of the various trips working with schools and teaching children in areas that normally would not have received an education.

Giving back to the community

Though many of their endeavors are focused on helping children in need, the Rotary Foundation also contributes other services to local businesses and individuals looking for a helping hand. In particular, they’re well-known for their quarterly office shred-it events, where shredding services are offered for free to those who can’t afford them on their own.

Caring for kids in need 1
The WaFd team helps out at the Rotary shred-it event.

Added challenges amidst the new normal

In 2020, as the world began its battle against COVID-19, the Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation had to start thinking outside the box. Many of their fundraising methods became much more difficult to maintain without in-person connections. Numerous members began putting down larger amounts of their own money to make up for the losses.

 

“It’s been very difficult, but we’ve worked hard to maintain the programs, and I’d say they’re more influential today than ever.”

—Nancy Voelckers, treasurer of Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation

 

Though this worldwide upheaval created new challenges for the Rotary Foundation to overcome in order to maintain the programs they’ve historically supported, it also allowed them to pivot in interesting directions. Their recent shred events have shifted to a drive-through format to accommodate social distancing measures. “It’s been very difficult, but we’ve worked hard to maintain the programs, and I’d say they’re more influential today than ever,” said Nancy Voelckers, the foundation’s treasurer.

Caring for kids in need
he Stanwood high school was moving buildings and didn't have money to shred hundreds of boxes of paper. The Rotary club came in and got it all shredded, along with the help of these three young ladies collecting donations.

Thinking forward

In the future, the Rotary Foundation plans to continually grow its efforts, both locally and worldwide. Foundation President Hans Eskelsen intends to expand their Latin American contributions by personally visiting a small town in Guatemala to help implement a public water system.

The 2021 Make More Happen Award includes a donation of $5,000 from Liberty Mutual and Safeco on behalf of WaFd Insurance Group, which will provide significant assistance to children across the world. If the donation is doubled, not only will that money provide free books for a year to 700 children and jackets to another 500 local children, it will also help maintain the school in Honduras, offering a full year’s education to over 30 children.

 

Be sure to vote for these Make More Happen award winners to win an additional $5,000 for the Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation by cheering them on with a comment below and sharing their story to social media using the buttons to the left! Learn more about WaFd Insurance Group and the Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation.

 

 

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DELORIS HAMMER
11 months ago

Glad to vote. Rotary is a wonderful group of people.

nan
11 months ago

Great work in your community keep it up

john lais
11 months ago

Awesome, great work!

Anna
11 months ago

Way to go!

Micah Blair
11 months ago

IT pays to work together in partnership. Well done Rotary.

Maggie T Reed
11 months ago

You guys rock!!!

Dominique Y Zervas-Foley
11 months ago

I am in favor; yay! And thank you, Liberty Mutual and S/C Rotary Foundation

T Y F
11 months ago

Way to GO!

Y F
11 months ago

Rotary Rocks!

N P
11 months ago

AWESOME!

M O
11 months ago

Super!

L P
11 months ago

Great!

Debra Kimball
11 months ago

Thank you for all you do to support and enrich our community!

Mike Griffin
11 months ago

The members of this Rotary club generously support their local community and Mayan children in Copan Ruinas Honduras.

Mary Pat
11 months ago

What a wonderful project.

Joanne
11 months ago

Great job WAFD & Rotary for this terrific opportunity

Niels Eskelsen
11 months ago

What a great opportunity to show the great value to help children in our local area.

Beatrice Carla Wright
11 months ago

As a Rotarian from San Juan Island, I’m so proud of your incredible work. Inspiring!

Roger Kelley
11 months ago

keep the votes coming!

John Mangin
11 months ago

Go Seahawks!

Lippy
11 months ago

Let’s go Brandon!!

Dylan Barbier Jr
11 months ago

What a fine group of people doing great things for the community!

Scott J Zimmer
11 months ago

It’s time to MAKE MORE HAPPEN!

David McCullam
11 months ago

Thank you for all you do!

HEATHER ZIMMER
11 months ago

You are doing an incredible job!

Carl Garrison
11 months ago

Great job Rotary!

Zachary Garner
11 months ago

Love this! Keep doing awesome things for Skagit County!

Cathy S
11 months ago

LOVE THIS!!!

London Northrup
11 months ago

You can do it!!

Sarabeth N
11 months ago

ROTARY!!!

Brad N
11 months ago

this rocks!!

angelina talor
11 months ago

so thankful for you guys!!

Ryan White
11 months ago

yes to all that rotary supports!!

Lauren White
11 months ago

Love all that you do!! Thank you!!

Kris A
11 months ago

Thank Rotary!!!

GEORGE G
11 months ago

TODAY YOU GUYS! GONNA WIN IT!

Kacie G
11 months ago

Raising money for the BEST causes! #rotary

Angie S
11 months ago

I love seeing Rotary during the shred it events!

John
11 months ago

Amazing work the Rotary does!

Wiley Markley
11 months ago

You guys are almost there~~ 🙂

Debbie Markley
11 months ago

Great job!

Landon Northrup
11 months ago

I Love the books my kids get from Imagination Library! Keep up the good work!

Baylee Northrup
11 months ago

Almost there!! You guys can do it!!

Joe Northrup
11 months ago

Lets go Rotary

Walter Guterbock
11 months ago

Great program!!

Susan Guterbock
11 months ago

Awesome

Walter Guterbock
11 months ago

Great club!

Walter Guterbock
11 months ago

Really

Camlynne Davis
11 months ago

Shared on social media, you always have my vote!

Susan Martin
11 months ago

The Honduras program is so needed and so effective. Thanks for participating in it.

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